Welcome to an online Beginners' German course designed by Paul Joyce of the University of Portsmouth. It currently contains twelve chapters of dialogue and exercises which have been designed to give the absolute beginner a grounding in the rudiments of the German language, as well as providing background information about life and culture in the Germanspeaking countries.
German Course Chapter index
Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6
Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12
1.1 Saying hello
Vocabulary 1: Saying Hello Formally
"Guten Morgen!" ("Good Morning!") "Guten Tag!" ("Hello!" (literally "Good day!")) "Guten Abend!" ("Good evening!") 1. German speakers say "Hello!" in a number of ways. This partly depends on the time of day:
"Guten Morgen!" is said until about 10 a.m. "Guten Tag!" is said from about 10 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m. (There is no equivalent phrase for "Good afternoon!" in German.)
"Guten Abend!" is said after 5 p.m.
All of these greetings are used in formal situations when we might say "How do you do" in English, or when meeting people we don't know particularly well. When you expect or are hoping for service, it could be interpreted as impolite not to say "Guten Tag!" as an opener. 2. In informal situations however - amongst family, friends or young people -, the above greetings are often shortened or other greetings are used:
Vocabulary 2: Saying Hello Informally
"Hallo!" ("Hello!") "Hi!" ("Hi!") "Tag!" ("Hello!")
"Hallihallo!" ("Hello!") "Morgen!" ("Morning!") " 'n Abend!" ("Evening!")
3. Your greeting will also depend on your geographical location. In South Germany and Austria, you'll often hear "Grüß Gott!" or "Servus!" in daylight hours, whilst in Switzerland you'll hear "Grüezi":
Vocabulary 3: Saying Hello Regionally
"Grüß Gott!" ("Hello!" ("May God greet you!")) "Grüß dich!" ("Hello!" (informal: "I greet you!")) "Servus!" ("Hello!") "Grüezi!" ("Greetings!")
Remember to shake hands! When Germans meet, their greetings can appear quite formal.
Even if they see each other every day at work they will usually shake hands. If you enter a room full of people, a general greeting to all of them is usually sufficient, although you will probably shake hands with some of them at least. Strictly speaking, the older person should hold out their hand first. Close acquaintances and friends however frequently greet each other in Southern European style not with a handshake but with a kiss on the left cheek and a kiss on the right.
.2 Saying goodbye
Vocabulary 4: Saying Goodbye Formally
"Auf Wiedersehen!" ("Goodbye!") "Auf Wiederschauen!" (= South Germany and Austria) "Auf Wiederhören!" ("Goodbye!" (telephone)) "Gute Nacht!" ("Good night!") 1. When saying goodbye, it is also necessary to distinguish between formal and informal registers:
The standard form for saying goodbye in German is "auf Wiedersehen!". It means "Until we see each other again", as does the South German and Austrian variant "auf Wiederschauen". As you obviously can't "see" people on telephones however, you use the phrase "auf Wiederhören" - "until we hear from each other again" - when you put down the receiver. When you are saying goodbye at night, you would say "gute Nacht!".
Vocabulary 5: Saying Goodbye Informally
"Bis später!" ("See you later!")
"Abend" and "Nacht" . "Tag".
German nouns As you will have noticed. from the Latin "ad deum".are not capitalized unless they occur at the beginning of a sentence. all German nouns . having the sense of "See you!" or "Bye!". This has the advantage for the learner of making them much easier to spot! On the other hand. like the Spanish "adiós" and the French "adieu".
You can test yourself on how to say hello and goodbye in German by clicking on the bar below: The LangMedia site gives you the opportunity to see and hear Germans say hello and goodbye to each other. There are also transcripts of their conversations in German and English:
. One should really only use "bis später" to meaning "See you later the same day". When you are saying farewell to friends and young people the above expressions can also be used. Germany & Austria)
2. You might occasionally find "ciao" Germanized as "tschau".such as "guten" in "guten Abend" .are always written with a capital letter. It originally comes.such as "Morgen". The word "servus" can either mean "hello" or "goodbye" according to context. and means literally "God be with you". Be aware that:
• • •
The word "tschüs" (sometimes spelled "tschüss") is the most common farewell phrase amongst friends. adjectives . Watching their body language as they do so is just as important as listening to what they say."Ciao!" ("Ciao!")
"Servus!" (S. You will hear it primarily in Southern Germany and Austria.
. The plural form of "Sie" is also "Sie". 2. it thus remains the norm amongst employees. It is quite possible for two neighbours to live next door to each other for decades and still call each other "Herr X" or "Frau Y" and refer to each other using "Sie"! It is equally possible for two colleagues to work in the same office all their life and still call each other "Sie" and not be on first name terms.1. As the "Sie" form carries with it great respect. A child would always say "Sie" to an adult outside his or her own family. It is the usual form of address when talking to an adult whom you don't know well or at all. close friends and children. although there is a growing trend towards work colleagues being on first name terms with each other and as a consequence using the "du" form. "Sie" always starts with a capital letter. The plural of "du" is "ihr". Sie The formal form "Sie" is used when you need to be more polite. Whether to use "Sie" or "du" can be a terrible dilemma for native and non-native speakers alike.3 "Sie" or "du?"
1. The German language has different ways of translating the English pronoun "you":
Grammar 1: "du" and "Sie"
du The familiar or informal form "du" is used when talking to relatives. It does not start with a capital letter.
you will be expected to use "du". as do members of certain other groups which place a high value on solidarity (e. University students invariably call each other "du" even when they're meeting for the first time. you might also use "Wie geht's?" ("How are things?"). "dir" and "euch" are the dative forms of "Sie". soldiers. In other areas of social interaction however. bluecollar workers. You will discover in subsequent chapters that "Ihnen". 3.. This phrase neatly sidesteps the issue of whether you should refer to the person to whom you
. "du" and "ihr".g.When meeting someone in a work environment. which should then be interpreted as an offer of friendship. and may be seen as being cold and aloof if you do not. When getting to know new friends and colleagues.and verb endings in particular.. Even an apparently simple construction like "How are you" needs to be remembered in three ways:
Grammar 2: Wie geht es. How are you? The choice between "du" and "Sie" is not just one of social niceties. it is advisable to wait for the German speaker to ask you to address them with "du". The inappropriate use of "du" to someone in a position of authority in a German-speaking country can appear disrespectful and cause a great deal of offence.?
Pronoun Sie (formal) du (informal) ihr (informal plural)
How are you? "Wie geht es Ihnen?" "Wie geht es dir?" "Wie geht es euch?"
1. sportsmen). It also affects the grammar of a sentence . you should always use "Sie". In all three of the above contexts. "Wie geht es Ihnen / dir?" literally means: "How goes it for you?" 2.
they still use the formal "Sie" to address each other.
Conversation 1: Im Büro
das Büro im Büro Herr Frau
The office In the office Mister "Frau" is the title used for both maried and single women and approximates to the English Ms. "How are you?" As this is an office
. Even though they have worked together for some time.are talking as "du" or "Sie". Herr Doktor Schmidt. Pay particular attention to the different greetings which are used in the different contexts.
Frau Müller Guten Morgen. Frau Müller. Frau Müller meets her boss Doctor Schmidt as he comes in for work in the morning. In our first conversation. or Miss. Schmidt Herr Dr. das tut mir Leid. Click here or on the sound icon below to listen to their conversation. Schmidt Auf Wiedersehen.4 Conversations: Greetings!
In the office Here are two conversations which practise the difference between formal and informal greetings. Und Ihnen?
Frau Müller Leider nicht sehr gut. Mrs. Schmidt
Guten Morgen. Herr Doktor Schmidt.
Frau Müller Auf Wiedersehen. danke. Oh. although it is a quite informal greeting
1. Schmidt Sehr gut. Wie geht es Ihnen? Herr Dr. Herr Dr.
They naturally use the informal "du" to address each other. If someone is a doctor of any kind. gut. thank you"). Und Ihnen? "And you?" This is short for: "Und wie geht es Ihnen?". das tut mir Leid. schoolfriends Michael and Franz bump into each at the station and briefly exchange greetings. the formal version is used. which you could also say in full if you wished.e.
Leider "Not so good. asking about somebody's health is a comparatively private question in Germany. or "Frau Professor Meyer". 2.
1. In German.es Ihnen?
environment. you should avoid using first names in formal circumstances. this title immediately follows "Herr" or "Frau" . "Oh. thank you". I'm sorry. "Very well. 3. Asking how someone is is normally a mere conversational formality. As a general rule." The word "leider" on nicht sehr its own means "unfortunately". and on a bad day the person asked may give you a detailed run-down on his or her precise state of health! At the station In our second conversation. Oh.
Conversation 2: Am Bahnhof
Michael Tag. danke" ("I'm very well.
. This is short danke. The formal use of Fräulein to translate "Miss" is outdated and should be avoided. which you could also say at this point. "Herr Doktor Schmidt".
Sehr gut. this can mean that you are sorry to hear something or sorry because of something that you have done. Franz.g. unless you are speaking to a child. not least because the literal translation of Fräulein is "little woman"! You should instead use Frau. for "Mir geht es sehr gut. Compared to Anglo-Saxon countries however." As in English. and the correct response is some form of "Fine thanks!" (see above). people greet each other by name more often than we do in English-speaking countries.
Bis später.. danke Prima..
der Bahnhof am Bahnhof Wie geht es dir? Gut.
Michael Gut. When you are introducing yourself to other people. Tschüs. thank you "Great. danke" at this point. Und dir? Michael Tschüs. Again. danke. The word "prima" should really only be used in informal contexts. Otherwise. danke. you should refer to yourself as "Herr X" or "Frau Y":
Vocabulary 6: Introducing yourself
I am. thank you".Franz Franz Franz
Hallo. Well. I am Mister Schmidt I am Ms.. danke
The station At the station "How are you?" As these are two young friends who are meeting. Michael. Wie geht es dir? Prima.5 Introducing yourself and others
1. when you would use "du". they use the informal "du" form. you would use your first name in informal circumstances i.
1. you could also say "Mir geht es prima. Braun I am Thomas I am Ute
"Ich bin." "Ich bin Herr Schmidt" "Ich bin Frau Braun" "Ich bin Thomas" "Ich bin Ute"
In both cases you would start with the words "Und das ist.Johann...my son." ".mein Sohn Markus" ". ich heiße...
(Literally: "How are you called?") mein Name ist....
... you can indicate your relationship to them either before their name or after it...... but "meine" when it refers to a female.my wife Sandra .. meine Tochter"
You will notice that the German possessive "my" is spelled "mein" when it refers to a male person. When you are introducing other people. . Markus .....
(Literally: "How is your name?") There are thus two versions of the German possessive adjective "your".. just as there are two words for the pronoun "you":
"Sie" has the pronoun "Ihr". mein Mann" ".. Note the capital letters! "du" has the pronoun "dein"...meine Frau Sandra" ".my daughter Britta
"Und das ist. What's your name? There are two main ways of asking someone their name and telling them your own. This will be explained in subsequent chapters. depending on whether you are in a formal or informal context:
Vocabulary 8: What's your name?
What's your name? Wie heißen Sie? Wie heißt du? Wie ist Ihr Name? Wie ist dein Name?
My name is...my husband Johann ..Britta...2. Each of these constructions has two different forms.":
Vocabulary 7: Introducing other people
And this is.
possessive adjectives and verbs
1. The word "ihr" can also pose difficulties. The table below lists them in full:
Grammar 3: Singular pronouns and possessives
Pronoun 1st Person 2nd Person 3rd Person ich "I" du "you" Sie er "he" sie "she" es "it"
Possessive mein "my" dein "your" Ihr sein ihr sein "his" "her" "its"
Grammar 4: Plural pronouns and possessives
Pronoun 1st Person wir "we" 2nd Person ihr "you" Sie 3rd Person sie "they "
Possessive unser "our" euer Ihr ihr "your" "their "
The following points should be noted:
The German pronoun "ich" does not start with a capital letter.As the word for name (der Name) is masculine. Note that the pronoun "sie" can either mean "she" or "they" depending on context. When used as a possessive adjective.
1. the possessive "dein" has the same ending as "mein" when it referred to a male person earlier in this section. it is the informal plural pronoun of "you". unlike its English equivalent "I". We have already met some of the German pronouns and possessive adjectives in this chapter. We will discuss pronouns and possessive adjectives in more detail in the next section. When used as a pronoun. And when it begins with a capital letter "Sie" is the formal form of "you"! Be very careful how you use this pronoun. it either means "her" or
Present tense of German verbs The present tense of the vast majority of German verbs is formed from the infinitive of the verb . And when it begins with a capital letter "Ihr" is the formal form of "your"! The third person pronouns "er". "to speak" etc. However they also substitute for all masculine. The gender of German nouns will be explained fully in the next chapter.if that were the case.the part of speech which equates to the English "to do". In German. feminine and neuter nouns respectively. regardless of whether they are persons or things. The reason why it is "du heißt" and not "du heißst" is a logical one . remove the "-en" from the infinitive and add personal endings to the remaining stem as follows:
Grammar 5: The verb "heißen" (= to be called)
Singular ich heiße du heißt Sie heißen Plural wir heißen ihr heißt Sie heißen sie heißen We are called You are called (informal/formal) They are called I am called You are called (informal/formal)
er/sie/es heißt He/she/it is called
The verb "heißen" is an example of a "weak" or "regular" verb in that it takes the regular personal endings for a verb in the present tense. "sie" and "es" can refer to persons. you would have three "s"'s in a row! Test yourself! You can test yourself on how to form the verb heißen in German by clicking on the bar below:
"their". To construct the individual forms. The only distinction is that the verb endings for the "du" person is usually "-st" and not "-t" as here. the infinitive almost always ends in "-en".
1. by no means all verbs are regular. Listen out for the different ways in which Anna talks first to Frau Schäfer and then to her two children. The other verb which we have encountered so far . but you may wish to have our online verb table open to help you as you progress through the course.and also the most commonly used German verb! .is irregular:
Grammar 6: The verb "sein" (= to be)
Singular ich bin du bist Sie sind er/sie/es ist Plural wir sind ihr seid Sie sind sie sind We are You are (informal/formal) They are I am You are (informal/formal) He/she/it is
We will practise German verbs in detail in subsequent chapters. meets her new neighbour Margarete Schäfer for the first time. Conversation 3. whom we saw earlier in the office.7 Conversations: Introductions (1)
Listen to the following conversations in which people introduce themselves to each other in different contexts.The verb "sein" (= to be) Unfortunately. click here. Click here or on the sound icon to listen to their conversation:
. If so. Anna Müller.
Have a nice day! "The same to you!" This is of course the formal version of the pronoun.Conversation 3: Frau Schäfer
Anna Müller Margarete Schäfer
Guten Tag. Frau Müller. Ihnen auch. Tschüs. Hallo Natascha! Hallo! (looking at Frau Schäfer's pram) Und wie heißt du? Das ist mein Sohn Winfried. Danke. Frau Müller? Auf Wiedersehen! Schönen Tag noch. meine Tochter. Natascha! Tschüs!
Anna Müller Natascha Schäfer Anna Müller Margarete Schäfer
Anna Müller Natascha Schäfer
Freut mich Darf ich mich verabschieden? Schönen Tag noch Ihnen auch
Pleased to meet you! "May I say goodbye?" Used in formal contexts only. Ich heiße Frau Müller. Mein Name ist Frau Schäfer und das ist Natascha. Darf ich mich verabschieden. Und wie heißen Sie? Guten Tag. Freut mich.
The student Sophie Gerland introduces herself to Professor Robert Jaspert on her first day at the Freie Universität Berlin (Free University of Berlin). Darf ich mich vorstellen? Mein Name ist Gerland. (Gibt ihm die Hand. Frau Gerland. "She shakes hands with him. Bitte nehmen Sie Platz." Literally: "She gives him the hand".
die Universität an der Universität Darf ich mich vorstellen? (Gibt ihm die Hand)
The university At the university "May I introduce myself?" Used as a polite phrase in a formal conversation.) Guten Tag. even though she is only 18 years old. Click here or on the mouth icon to listen to their conversation:
Conversation 4: An der Universität
Guten Tag. Not shaking hands in this highly formal context would appear rude. "Please sit down. Professor Jaspert." Note that Professor Jaspert uses the polite "Sie" form when speaking to Sophie. He also calls her "Frau Gerland".
Bitte nehmen Sie Platz
.Conversation 4. and not "Fräulein" or "Sophie".
All three are 18year-old students. people introduce themselves to each other in different contexts. they still shake hands on being
.) Hallo Marko! Hallo Barbara! Nett. you omit the pronoun "mich" which you use when introducing yourself. gleichfalls.
Darf ich vorstellen? (Gibt ihm die Hand)
"May I introduce?" When introducing someone else.1. Sophie Gerland introduces her boyfriend Marko Tredup to her friend Barbara Zacharias.8 Conversations: Introductions (2)
In the following conversations. dich kennen zu lernen. Conversation 5.
Conversation 5: Marko und Barbara
Sophie Gerland Barbara Zacharias Marko Tredup Barbara Zacharias Marko Tredup
Hallo Barbara! Darf ich vorstellen? Das ist mein Freund Marko. Danke. Firstly. (Gibt ihm die Hand. Although the fellow students naturally use "du" to each other.
die Mutter Darf ich dir . darf ich dir meine Freundin Sophie vorstellen? Freut mich.. Frau Tredup
Marko Frau Tredup Sophie
Mutter.. Now Marko Tredup introduces Sophie Gerland to his mother. It's therefore a more formal conversation. dich kennen zu lernen. It is also
.. It is also the word which is used for a "any male friend". An informal response to being introduced. Were he to be speaking in more formal circumstances he would say "Darf ich Ihnen . vorstellen?" Here: "my girlfriend".introduced to each other. likewise". (Sie geben sich die Hand. Or: "The same to you".. Note that "dich" is the accusative form of the pronoun "du".. Angenehm. "Nice to meet you". gleichfalls
Conversation 6. Which pronouns are used here and why?
Conversation 6: Angenehm. mein Freund Here: "my boyfriend". Sie kennen zu lernen. Sophie. to you?" Marko uses "dir" (the dative form of "du") because he is talking to his mother..
Nett. Frau Tredup. vorstellen?
Mother "May I introduce .
(Sie geben sich die Hand)
1. "Pleased to meet you.Freundin Freut mich. The top twenty male and female names from their survey are listed below:
1997 Berlin phone book: most frequent names
Male 1. sixteen researchers at the "Kulturbox" in Berlin collated the frequency of first names in the Berlin telephone directory. Werner Ingrid
. Once more. But which are the ones that we are most likely to meet in everyday life? In 1997. Hans Peter
Female Ursula Hildegard
11. "Pleased to meet you".
the word which is used for a "any female friend". Sie kennen zu lernen. It is interchangable with "Freut mich" as a polite response when being introduced to someone. 3. 2. Note that Frau Tredup calls Sophie "Sie"." This is a more formal version of "Freut mich" which we met in the first conversation. Gerhard Gerda 12.9 German first names
We have met a number of German first names in this chapter. Joachim Sabine 13. even though the latter is the same age as her son Marko. Click here to see the full list. shaking hands is an essential part of social etiquette in this context. It literally just means "pleasant". They shake hands.
8. 8. Leon
Maximilian Sophie Alexander Maria Paul Luca Lukas Felix Elias David Jonas Anna/e Leonie Lea Johanna Charlotte Hanna(h) Sophia
Maximilian Sophie Alexander Maria Lukas Paul Luca Tim Felix David Elias Anna/e Leonie Lena Emily Johanna Laura Lea(h)
Trends It is true to say that fewer traditional or religious names are chosen now than at the start of the century. Manfred Erika 15. and 21% "because it was an unusual name". The nineties witnessed the birth of children named Fritzi-Bo. 7. Names are indeed becoming more individual. 7. 42% of parents stated that they chose the name of the offspring "because they liked it". 9.
Heinz Klaus Horst Jürgen Dieter Günter
Helga Renata Margarete Monika Brigitte Charlotte Gisela
14. Frank 20. Thomas Ingeborg 17. 10. 6. 3. 6. 5. 6. 10. Kurt Petra Gabriele Erna Elisabeth
10. In an ongoing survey carried out by the German magazine Familie Online for example. Karl 19. Leon
2006 Boys 1. 4. 9. 5. 2. Yet recent years have seen parents choosing quite different names for their children. 8. and Dana-Fee. 5. According to the German Language Society (GfdS). Bernd 18. 7. Whilst only 9% of parents surveyed chose the name of their
. Andreas Karin 16. 2.4. Michael
These are probably names which the outsider would recognise as "typically German". Sammy-Joy. 9. 3. 4. the ten names most commonly given to babies in 2006 and 2007 were as follows:
The most popular names given to German babies
2007 Boys 1.
10. German parents are also increasingly drawing on a broader range of cultures and backgrounds when naming their children. 2. Italian names are becoming ever more popular.
Eas Boys t 1. 5. 7. parents still tend to give their sons shorter names such as Tim or Tom than those in the West. 9. 8. It only entered the top ten of names in
. 8. the top 20 most popular names given to babies in 2006 are listed below. Lukas has now been the most popular boys' name in Austria since 1996 and a total 1. 6. In the former East Germany (GDR). Erik
Austria According to Statistik Austria. Lukas Philipp Florian Kevin Max Felix Paul Tom
Alexander Maria Lukas Daniel Michael Christian Philipp Marcel Jan Tobias Julia Anna/e Laura Marie Sophie Lisa Sara(h) Lena Maximilian Katharina
Maximilian Maria Lisa Laura Anna/e Sophia Julia Sara(h) Michelle Vanessa Jessica
10. Regional variations within Germany In South Germany it is more common to find children with two or three first names (such as Franz Josef).baby because of biblical connotations. as evidenced by Boris Becker calling his son Noah. it is clear from the above list that biblical names are by no means dying out . (GfdS))
1996: Names given to babies in West and East Germany
West Boys 1. 3.V. For girls. especially girls' names such as Chiara and Gina. 4. 2. the name Michelle is much more common in the East than in the West.131 Austrian boys were given this name in 2006. 4. 3. 7. 6. Here is the list of the most popular names given to children born in 1996 in Eastern and Western Germany: (Source: Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache e. 5. This year marks the first time however that Lena has become the most popular girls' name. 9.in the mid1990's they even experienced a renaissance.
Elias 14. Nico
Girls Lea Lara Viktoria Selina Vanessa Sophia Elena Nina Magdalena
Maximilian Katharina Alexander Sophie
19. 7. Michael 20. Fabio 19. regained its position at the top of the list of male names from David. Julian
Switzerland The top 20 names given to babies born in the German-speaking region of Switzerland (die Deutschschweiz) in 2006 are listed below. 9. 6.
2006: Names given to babies in Switzerland
Boys 1. Leandro 14. Robin 16. Daniel 16. Lukas Tobias David Florian Simon Fabian Sebastian
Girls Lena Leonie Sarah Anna Julia Hannah Laura Lisa
Boys 11. 5. Click here for a fuller table that gives you the top 60 names for both genders. Matthias Johanna
10. Gian 17. Fabian 15. 3. Philipp 15. Lukas 12. which had been the most popular boys' name in German-speaking Switzerland from 1997-2004. Jakob 13. 2. 4. 3. 6. Jonas 17. Jakob 13. Dario 18. 7. 2.1999 and has since gradually become more popular among Austrian parents. Luca. Jonas
2006: Names given to babies in Austria
Boys 1. Paul 18. Janis 20. 5. Felix 12. Anna replaced Leonie as the most popular name given to baby girls. 8. Luca Noah Leon David Joël Jan Simon Tim Nico
Girls Anna Lena Lara Laura Léonie Julia Lea Sara Nina Alina
Boys 11. 9. Julian
Girls Elena Sarah Chiara Mia Jana Selina Vanessa Alessia Jessica Michelle
10. 8. 4.
Click here for further information on the names given to Swiss children between 2004 and 2006. a. s. the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland. In the Frenchspeaking areas. whereas Samuel. a. Luca and Alessandro were the joint most popular names given to baby boys in 2006. and decides to ask her. h. Giulia and Giada were the most popular names given to girls in the Italian-speaking area.
1. Nico and Anna topped their respective lists in 2006.
Wie schreibt How do you write that?
. Click here or on the sound icon to listen to their conversation:
Conversation 7: N-a-t-a-s-c-h-a
Anna Müller Natascha Schäfer Anna Müller Natascha Schäfer
Wie heißt du? Natascha.10 Spelling your name
To help you in these conversations. In the Ticino.The difference between the various language groupings in Switzerland is quite pronounced. t. Léa regained its position in 2006 as the most popular name given to baby girls from Laura. Sofia. Noah and Nathan were the most popular names given to male babies. In the Rumantsch-speaking regions. a. c. Anna Müller is uncertain how Natascha Schäfer spells her Christian name. you may wish to open our guide to pronouncing the letters of the German alphabet. Wie schreibt man das? Großes n. Conversation 7.
Großes s. scharfes s. but he needs to be certain how to spell her name.
Conversation 8. Bitte wiederholen Sie das. Mein Name ist Maria Strauß. a. langsam. u. r. you would say "kleines s".. Wie buchstabiert man das? Das buchstabiert man: großes s. scharfes s. r. If you wanted to say "small s".
.man das? Großes s "Capital s. How does he ask her to do this?
Conversation 8: Die Bank
Maria Strauß Herr Klein Maria Strauß Herr Klein Maria Strauß
Guten Morgen.... man. u." Or literally "big s". t. She tries to give her details to Herr Klein behind the counter. a. Maria Strauß goes to the bank to withdraw some money.
Wie buchstabiert How do you spell that? man das? Das buchstabiert It's spelt. t.
"they" etc. "one". Quia The online testing centre Quia allows us to use Java exercises such as flashcards. "you". memory games and hangman as a means of aiding vocabulary-building and grammar practice. slowly.i. in that it is used when talking about what people in general do . Austria and Switzerland. slowly? langsam
The pronoun "man" equates to "on" in French. It sounds exactly like the "ss" sound. langsam. ("Could you repeat that slowly?")
1. I didn't quite catch that! There are a number of other useful phrases which you can use if you haven't quite understood and would like somebody to repeat something:
Could you repeat that?
Wie bitte? ("What did you say?") Noch mal langsam bitte! ("Say that again please. Click on the buttons below to access the Quia exercises which we have devised for you for this chapter:
.") Bitte wiederholen Sie das.scharfes s
"scharfes s" (literally "sharp s") is the name for the "ß" symbol.
Bitte wiederholen Could you repeat that.e. and answers questions of our choosing. It takes the third person singular ("er/sie/es") verb endings. Sie das. Internet scavenger hunts mean that you can surf sites offering background information on Germany.
3. others for holidays and festivals. Select the animation that you wish to use for your card by clicking on the pictures that inetrest you. Use the Mauskarte to send greetings to your friends or your teacher. On the Mauskarte page.2.including radio. In your card you should:
. Some of the cards are for birthday greetings and general congratulations. Hot Potatoes Different kind of online exercises have been designed using the Hot Potatoes software. Preparing to discover German culture via the Internet in all its multimedial glory . This can range from jumbled word and sentence exercises to short quizzes. Click on the button below to get started. you will find a variety of animated cards featuring the cartoon animals featured in the show. we would like you to go to the homepage of the German children's TV programme newspaper Die Maus (= The Mouse). It is the former type of questions which we wish you to try for Chapter 1. Send each other a German web-card Our chapters will also contain a number of web-based exercises which broaden cultural awareness whilst also testing grammatical elements. which is a German TV programme for children. television and e-mail! For this section.
Grammatically. of course!)
Click on this button to get started: If you want to watch extracts of the TV programme. click here for a series of clips taken from the cartoon series Die Maus.• • • •
say hello say who you are ask how the person to whom you are writing say goodbye (all in German. this chapter concentrates on the gender of German nouns. We shall also learn when to omit the German definite article and how to decline the present tense of the verb "arbeiten".
In this chapter you will learn:
• • • • • • • •
how to ask someone where they come from the names of cities and countries in German how to express your nationality how to ask somebody what their job is how to describe your own job basic facts and figures about Germany about German history about the sixteen German Länder
Where are you from? Woher kommen Sie? Woher kommst du?
I'm from.. "Woher" means "from where".. whereas "wo" is the word which is used when no movement is involved.)
Vocabulary 1: Woher.1 Where are you from?
Having asked how somebody is and what their name is.
(Literally: "Where are you from?") You might wish to ask somebody where they live. Note the word order in German when a question is being
. ich komme aus.. you will then want to find out where they come from. There are two main phrases that you can employ for this.. In subsequent chapters we shall also encounter "wohin" which means "to where": 2... Wo wohnen Sie? Wo wohnst du? ich wohne in..
(Literally: "Where do you live?") Questions 1. (You can listen to them by clicking on the sound icon.
Vocabulary 2: Where do you live?
Where do you live? I live in.2. There is one main phrase for this. but remember to distinguish between the "Sie" and "du" forms depending on the person to whom you are talking! Click on the sound icon to hear these phrases.. You may have noticed that there are different words for "where" in German..
(Literally: "Where do you come from?") Woher sind Sie? Woher bist du? ich bin aus..
we will reproduce the present tense of these verbs in full below:
Grammar 1: The verb "wohnen" (= to live)
Singular ich wohne du wohnst Sie wohnen er/sie/es wohnt Plural wir wohnen ihr wohnt Sie wohnen sie wohnen We live You live (informal/formal) They live I live You live (informal/formal) He/she/it lives
1.asked. We have now met several examples of this:
• • • • • • •
"Wie geht es Ihnen?" (= "How are you?") "Wie heißt du?" (= "What is your name?") "Wie ist Ihr Name?" ("What is your name?") "Woher kommst du?" ("Where do you come from?") "Wo wohnen Sie?" ("Where do you live?") "Wie schreibt man das?" (= "How do you write that?") "Wie buchstabiert man das?" (= "How do you spell that?")
Present tense of German verbs (2) You will have noted that the verbs "wohnen" (= "to live") and "kommen" (= "to come") used above have the same endings as "heißen" in the previous chapter. The question word comes first. You may also have noted that the endings for the "wir". 2. followed by the verb and then the subject of the sentence. Note that the present tense of a German verb has two possible English translations. "er wohnt" could either mean "he lives"or "he is living" depending on context. "sie" (plural) and "Sie" forms are the same for all verbs. To help you get used to a difficult part of German grammar. Unlike English. German has no separate form to indicate continuing action.g. e. Helpfully. in
. but names of inanimate objects can be masculine.regular verbs their verb form will be exactly the same as the infinitive. feminine or neuter. this is not the case in German. One of the major difficulties experienced by English speakers when learning German is that all German nouns. a name is masculine in German (der Name). and most of those denoting females are feminine (examples of natural gender). whether they represent persons. Considering the nouns with which we have come into contact so far for example. Most nouns denoting male persons and animals are in fact masculine.
Grammar 2: The verb "kommen" (= to come)
Singular ich komme du kommst Sie kommen er/sie/es kommt Plural wir kommen ihr kommt Sie kommen sie kommen We come You come (informal/formal) They come I come You come (informal/formal) He/she/it comes
Note however that the verb "kommen" is only a regular verb in the present tense. In the vast majority of other German tenses it is irregular and its various forms need to be learned off by heart! Test yourself! You can test yourself on the present tense of the verb "kommen" by clicking on the bar below:
2. things or ideas have a grammatical gender. Whereas in English gender virtually always corresponds logically to the sex of the noun. feminine and neuter We can put it off no longer.3 The gender of German nouns
city is feminine (die Stadt). Overall.indeed there are exceptions to most of them. about 45% of German nouns are masculine. Although there is no apparent rationale for this classification. just as Germans do. The definite article The best way to remember German genders is to learn each noun not as a single." The unpalatable truth is that whenever you learn a German noun. and what callous disrespect for the girl. Here are the genders of some of the nouns that we have met so far together with the appropriate form of the definite article:
Grammar 4: Gender and the definite article
Masculine der Mann (= the man) der Sohn (= the son) der Freund (= the male friend) der Tag (= the day)
Feminine die Frau (= the woman)
Neuter das Kind (= the child)
die Tochter das (= the daughter) Mädchen (= the girl) die Freundin (= the female friend) die Nacht (= the night) das Büro (= the office) das Land (= the country)
Compound nouns Many German nouns are a combination of two or more shorter
. and unlike English nouns. We call "the" and its German equivalents the definite article. 35% are feminine and 20% are neuter. while a turnip has. Against all natural logic. isolated word. Yet these rules are far from watertight . guidelines for predicting genders do exist. but together with the word for "the" that goes with it. whereas the word for a country is neuter (das Land). Think what overwrought reverence that shows for the turnip. you have to learn its gender. a young lady has no sex. the definite article in German is used to make the gender of German nouns obvious. the word for a girl is neuter in German (das Mädchen)! The author Mark Twain famously complained about German nouns: "In German.
but this article changes from "die" to "der".4 Countries (2)
Feminine countries So far all the countries which we have encountered have been neuter. We shall see in a subsequent section that this is because it is now in the dative case.
Grammar 6: Prepositions and feminine countries
Where are you from? Woher kommen Sie?
. The gender is always that of the last element in the compound noun:
Grammar 5: Compound nouns
Noun der Name (= the name)
Compound noun der Vorname (= the Christian name)
die Frau die Hausfrau (= the woman) (= the housewife) das Land (= the country) das Ausland (= abroad)
2.words .we call them compound nouns. you also have to include the definite article with the preposition . and are never used with the definite article.
Vocabulary 5: Feminine Countries
die Switzerland Schweiz die Türkei Turkey
die Slovakia Slowakei die Ukraine Czech Republic Ukraine
die Tschechische Republik
When you explain that you come from any of these countries. A small number of names for countries however are feminine and are always preceded by the definite article "die".
: "She is from the Ukraine") Where do you live? Wo wohnt Mehmet? er wohnt in der Türkei (Trans.: "He lives in the Netherlands") Notes 1.: "I come from Switzerland") Woher ist Andrea? sie ist aus der Ukraine (Trans.: "He lives in Turkey") Plural Countries A small number of countries are written in the plural in German. Note that "die Niederlande" adds an "-n" when we write "in
. In this case the definite article changes from "die" to "den":
Vocabulary 6: Plural Countries
Das Land die USA die Vereinigten Staaten die Niederlande Phrases
Country USA United States Netherlands
ich komme aus den USA (Trans.: "She is from the United States") er wohnt in den Niederlanden (Trans.: "I come from the USA") sie ist aus den Vereinigten Staaten (Trans.ich komme aus der Schweiz (Trans.
"der Irak" (= Iraq) "der Iran" (= Iran). German uses a noun without a different article . ich bin Brite ("I'm British (male)")
Woher ist Anne? Woher kommt Urs? Woher bist du?
sie ist Britin ("She is British") er ist Schweizer ("He is Swiss") ich bin
. "I am English" -. "der Jemen" (= Yemen). "Amerika" is often used to translate "the United States". This again is a result of the noun now being in the dative case. you would need to employ the feminine version of the noun if the person being described is a woman ."Ich bin Engländerin" (literally: "I am Englishwoman"):
Grammar 7: Describing your nationality
Where are you from? Woher kommen Sie?
I'm from."Ich bin Engländer" (literally: "I am Englishman"). A few countries are masculine in German.den Niederlanden" or "aus den Niederlanden".. And just as there are different words for "friend" depending on the gender of the person concerned."der Libanon" (= Lebanon).5 Nationalities
Nouns of nationality The German construction for saying which nationality you are is different from in English.i.
2. 3. particularly in conversation.. particularly in the Middle East . It should really only be used to translate the continent of America however. which changes from "der" to "dem" when you are describing where you are from.e. It is a neuter noun and is thus used without a definite article. 2. Whereas English uses an adjective . They too are almost always used with the definite article.
"die Deutsche" ("the German woman"). der Israeli. the masculine nouns that end in "e" can in fact take a number of endings depending on the case that they are in and whether they are preceded by an article. The major exception is an important one however . Note that:
The vast majority of feminine nouns end in "-in". This is a little misleading however.. This type of noun will also be discussed in Chapter 11. der Zypriot). For the moment we have given you the endings that you will need to translate "He is a ."der Deutsche" . the names of male inhabitants listed below either end in "e" or "-er"." The word for a German man ..
Vocabulary 7: Ich bin Engländer(in)
Country Andorra Australien Belgien Brasilien Bulgarien China Dänemark Deutschland England Estland Finnland Frankreich
Male Inhabitant Andorraner Australier Belgier Brasilianer Bulgare Chinese Däne Deutscher Engländer Este Finne Franzose
Female Inhabitant Andorranerin Australierin Belgierin Brasilianerin Bulgarin Chinesin Dänin Deutsche Engländerin Estin Finnin Französin
. With a few exceptions (der Ungar. For as we shall see in Chapter 11.is an adjectival noun.Schweizerin ("I am Swiss (female)") Nationality table Listed below are the nouns of nationality for the countries which we have encountered so far.
Griechenland Indien Irland Island Israel Italien Japan Kanada Kolumbien Kroatien Lettland Liechtenstein Litauen Luxemburg Malta Mazedonien Mexiko Moldawien Monaco Neuseeland Norwegen Österreich Polen Portugal Rumänien Russland Schottland Schweden die Schweiz die Slowakei Slowenien Spanien
Grieche Inder Ire Isländer Israeli Italiener Japaner Kanadier Kolumbianer Kroate Lette Litauer Luxemburger Malteser Mazedonier Mexikaner Moldawier Monegasse Neuseeländer Norweger Österreicher Pole Portugiese Rumäne Russe Schotte Schwede Schweizer Slowake Slowene Spanier
Griechin Britin Inderin Irin Isländerin Israeli Italienerin Japanerin Kanadierin Kolumbianerin Kroatin Lettin Litauerin Luxemburgerin Malteserin Mazedonierin Mexikanerin Moldawierin Monegassin Neuseeländerin Niederländerin Norwegerin Österreicherin Polin Portugiesin Rumänin Russin Schottin Schwedin Schweizerin Slowakin Slowenin Spanierin
die Niederlande Niederländer
What sort of questions do they ask each other. Guten Tag. and how do they respond?
Conversation 1: Im Café
Peter Withe Klaus
Guten Tag. Sind Sie vielleicht
.6 Conversation: Im Café
Das Café An English tourist Peter Withe (standing. left) strikes up a conversation with a German local Klaus Wagner (seated. right) whilst sitting outside a café in Bavaria in summer.Südafrika Südkorea die Tschechische Republik Tunesien die Türkei die Ukraine Ungarn die USA Wales Zypern
Südafrikaner Südkoreaner der Tscheche
Südafrikanerin Südkoreanerin die Tschechin
Tunesier der Türke der Ukrainer Ungar
Tunesierin die Türkin die Ukrainerin Ungarin
(US-)Amerikan (US-)Amerikaner er in Waliser Zypriot Waliserin Zypriotin
Test yourself! You can test yourself on your knowledge of German words for nationalities by clicking on the two bars below:
Be very careful of this word in German! It doesn't mean English "also" but "therefore" or "so".
Klaus Sie sind also kein Amerikaner? Wagner Peter Withe Nein. Und Sie?
Klaus Ich bin Deutscher. Ich komme aus Wagner Norddeutschland.
Klaus Woher kommen Sie? Wagner Peter Withe Ich komme aus Birmingham. Mein Name ist Wagner. Klaus Wagner. Aber ich wohne hier in Bayern.without a definite article.
das Café im Café der Ausländer
The café In the café A male "foreigner".Wagner Ausländer? Peter Withe Ja. ich bin Engländer. ich komme nicht aus den USA.
Sind Sie vielleicht "Are you a foreigner by any Ausländer? chance?" Peter's German accent is not as authentic as he thinks! Note that "Ausländer" is used in exactly the same way as all other nationalities . A female foreigner would be "die Ausländerin".
Sie sind also kein "So you're not American?" The Amerikaner? word "kein" literally means "not an". Peter Withe. "vielleicht" would be translated as "perhaps". Und wie heißen Sie? Peter Withe Ich heiße Withe. The literal translation is "Are you perhaps foreigner?" vielleicht In almost all other contexts.
who has just arrived from Glasgow. This means "Bavaria". Many German regions with which we are familiar turn out to have very different names in German.
Conversation 2: Im Sitzungssaal
Darf ich vorstellen. Sind Sie Deutsche?
Frau Melzig Nein. aber ich komme aus der Schweiz.a compound noun. Herr McNaught Und wie ist Ihr Name. Herr Loss (second from left) introduces Ken McNaught (left).
2. Herr McNaught. er ist Schotte.
Frau Melzig Guten Tag. Sind Sie Schotte? Herr Loss Herr McNaught Ja. Willkommen in Hannover. bitte?
.7 Conversation: Im Sitzungssaal
Im Sitzungsaal In a conference room (der Sitzungssaal) at a trade fair in Hanover. to Frau Melzig and Herr Slomka (right). Mein Mann ist Deutscher. Frau Melzig aus Hannover. Er ist in der Nähe von Glasgow geboren. Herr McNaught aus Glasgow. This is one word only in German .Norddeutschland
. Herr Slomka? Ich bin aus Moskau.Herr Loss Herr McNaught Herr Slomka Herr McNaught Herr Loss
Das ist Herr Slomka.. after the place in which the person was born. Woher sind Sie." Note that the word "geboren" is always placed right at the end of the clause. But you knew that already. Er wohnt hier. Are you Scottish? "yes / no".. didn't you? This somewhat lengthy construction simply means "near Glasgow". Note that German uses a different preposition to English in this context.
der Sitzungssaal im Sitzungssaal Willkommen in Hannover
The conference room In the conference room "Welcome to Hanover". "He was born. but here Are you here on business?
Sind Sie Schotte? ja / nein in der Nähe von Glasgow Er ist . geboren
aber hier Sind Sie hier auf Geschäftsreise?
Der Beruf The German construction for explaining what your job is
.. Aha! Sie sind Russe! Sind Sie hier auf Geschäftsreise? Nein.
Whereas in English we would say "I'm a doctor". You have a choice of word order with this construction. (male) Was sind Sie von Beruf? Was bist du von Beruf? What's her job? Was ist sie von Beruf? von Beruf bin ich Arzt ich bin Arzt (von Beruf) She's a."der Beruf". in German you would say "Ich bin Arzt" (literally . Table of professions Listed below are the names of the most commonly used German professions with their male and female variants. the verb which you will need throughout is the irregular verb "sein".. Once more. and can also choose whether to say "ich bin Manager von Beruf" or simply "ich bin Manager"."I am doctor").involves the German word for profession .
Grammar 8: What do you do for a living?
What's your job? I'm a.."Ich bin Ärztin". von Beruf ist sie Ärztin sie ist Ärztin (von Beruf)
You will have noticed that we use exactly the same construction for professions as we do for nationalities. there are also two forms of each profession which need to be learned to employ the feminine version of the noun if the person being described is a woman .. And just as there are two words for "a friend" or "a German" depending on the gender of the speaker.
Kellner + "-in" = Kellnerin.
.Vocabulary 8: Professions
Profession Actor Artist Author Bank clerk Car mechanic Chemist Civil servant Doctor Engineer Farmer Hairdresser Journalist Lawyer Lecturer Nurse Pensioner Photographer Politician Postman Professor Salesperson Secretary Student Taxi driver Teacher Waiter
Male Variant Schauspieler Künstler Schriftsteller
Female Variant Schauspielerin Künstlerin Schriftstellerin Geschäftsfrau Automechanikerin Chemikerin Beamtin Ärztin Ingenieurin Landwirtin Friseurin Journalistin Rechtsanwältin Dozentin Krankenpflegerin Rentnerin Fotografin Politikerin Briefträgerin Professorin Verkäuferin Sekretärin Studentin Taxifahrerin Lehrerin Kellnerin
Bankangestellter Bankangestellte Automechaniker Chemiker Beamter Arzt Ingenieur Landwirt Friseur Journalist Rechtsanwalt Dozent Krankenpfleger Rentner Fotograf Politiker Briefträger Professor Verkäufer Sekretär Student Taxifahrer Lehrer Kellner
Grammar 1) As you will have noted from the above list. the suffix "-in" is often added in the feminine form .e.i.
nein. Geschäftsmann (male) and Geschäftsfrau.e. Frau Herda? Von Beruf bin ich Lehrerin. Das gibt's doch gar nicht! Wo arbeitet er? Hier in Berlin? Nein. 3) Occasionally the male form ends in "-in". Er ist Deutschlehrer in der Türkei. Wir sind beide in der Türkei geboren. and the female equivalent in "-e" .e.9 Conversation: Der Beruf
The teacher and the greengrocer Whilst waiting at the bus-stop. 4) There are sometimes different words for male and female jobs . Arzt + "-in" = Ärztin. Ach nein! Mein Bruder ist auch Lehrer.i.i. Und was sind Sie von Beruf?
.2) Sometimes the female equivalent modifies slightly with the addition of an "Umlaut" .e. Bankangestellter ."-r" = Bankangestellte.
Conversation 1: Die Lehrerin und der Gemüsehändler
Müslüm Can Mareike Herda Müslüm Can Mareike Herda Müslüm Can Mareike Herda
Was sind Sie eigentlich von Beruf. Müslüm Can and Mareike Herda (pictured below standing with her pupils. at the back on the right) discuss the jobs to which they are travelling.
"he is working" and "he does work". Note that this is written as one word in German. but the sense is one of surprise: "Really?!" my brother "too. Not to be confused with the German word "also" meaning "therefore" (see below). Literally "Oh no!". also"... Arbeiten Sie hier in der Stadt? Ja... "German teacher".. "Er arbeitet" is the sole German translation for "he works". There is no German equivalent of the English word "does".
actually. Ich arbeite in einem kleinen Gemüseladen in der Nähe von hier. Be very careful of this word in German! It doesn't mean English "also" but "therefore" or "so".. geboren wir beide der Gemüsehändler in der Stadt
. both of us greengrocer in the city
Ach nein! mein Bruder auch
Das gibt's doch gar nicht! Wo arbeitet er?
Deutschlehrer Wir sind . "Where does he work?".Müslüm Can Mareike Herda Müslüm Can
Ich bin Gemüsehändler.. in fact Switching the word order around such that "von Beruf" comes first places slightly more emphasis on the profession. We were born .
eigentlich von Beruf bin ich. A polite expression of great surprise. "Well I never! You don't say!".
some of the endings are slightly different as the stem of the verb ends in "t". To prevent a build-up of unpronouncable and teeth-damaging consonants. an extra "-e" is added before the "du". "er/sie" and "ihr" endings. Although it is a regular verb. All of the missing words were spoken by Müslüm and Mareike in this passage!
Present tense of the verb "arbeiten" We have met a new verb in this section .in einem kleinen Gemüseladen in der Nähe von hier
in a little greengrocer's shop near here
Test yourself! Test how well you have understood this passage by doing this gap-filling exercise."arbeiten" (= "to work").
Grammar 1: The verb "arbeiten"
Singular ich arbeite du arbeitest Sie arbeiten er/sie/es arbeitet Plural wir arbeiten ihr arbeitet Sie arbeiten sie arbeiten We work You work (informal/formal) They work I work You work (informal/formal) He/she/it works
There are ten Länder in the territory of the former West Germany. you can test your knowledge of precisely where they are in Germany by doing the online jigsaw on the homepage of UK-German Connection:
Facts and figures As you can see from the table below. If you click on the names of each federal state. Bayern (Bavaria) is the largest Land in terms of area.
Quiz Once you have looked at the map of the sixteen Länder.2.12 The German Länder
The Federal Republic of Germany is called "Federal" because it consists of a federation of sixteen Länder or states. The sixteenth state is Berlin comprising what used to be West and East Berlin. you will be taken to the homepage
. whilst Nordrhein-Westfalen (North Rhine-Westphalia) has the largest population. whilst the former GDR has been divided into five federal states.
03 1.421 47.443 15.71 6.08
The English translation of the German Länder names Many of these German Länder have English equivalents although the English version of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is no less of a mouthful! Note in particular the very different German name for what we call Bavaria.88 4.72 2.348 34.114 23.408 20.476 404 755 21.68 1.95 3.732 16.of the Land.04 3.82 17.
English translations of German Länder
German Bayern Hessen MecklenburgVorpommern Niedersachsen
English Bavaria Hesse Mecklenburg WestVorpomerania Lower Saxony
.82 7.45 2.
The Sixteen German Länder
Population Area (millions) (km²) 10.176
Baden-Württemberg Stuttgart Bayern Berlin Brandenburg Bremen Hamburg Hessen MecklenburgVorpommern Niedersachsen Rheinland-Pfalz Saarland Sachsen Sachsen-Anhalt Schleswig-Holstein Thüringen Munich --------Potsdam ----------------Wiesbaden Schwerin Hanover Mainz Dresden Magdeburg Kiel Erfurt
Saarbrücken 1.74 2.55 2.554 889 29.55 0.072 19. Many of these homepages also have English versions.846 2.751 70.37 12.570 18.49 35.
This chapter will also concentrate on the different forms of the possessive adjective. 3. and the nominative and accusative cases. Grammatically. 4.NordrheinWestfalen Rheinland-Pfalz Sachsen Sachsen-Anhalt Thüringen
North RhineWestphalia RhinelandPalatinate Saxony Saxony-Anhalt Thuringia
In this chapter you will learn:
• • • • • •
how to ask someone their age how to say what belongs to you and other people how to count from one to twenty in German a range of vocabulary for the family a range of vocabulary for the names of pets about the love-hate relationship between Germans and dogs
Grammar 1. this chapter concentrates on the plural of German nouns. 2. We shall also learn about the difference between subject and object. The use and formation of the indefinite article will be discussed.
bitte? Ich heiße Anna Müller.1 Im Studio (1)
Anna Müller and Müslüm Can have both been invited to the studios of Radio Eins in Berlin to discuss their lives in Germany. but what new information is Anna being asked to give here? You can listen to the interviews by clicking on the "On air" icon. Wie alt sind Sie. Wo ist Linz?
. you can listen to Radio Eins live on the Internet by clicking here. Woher kommen Sie? Sind Sie aus Berlin? Ich wohne jetzt in Berlin. You will be familiar with some of the questions.3.
Conversation 1: Interview mit Anna Müller
Claudia Stenzel Anna Müller Claudia Stenzel Anna Müller Claudia Stenzel Anna Müller Claudia Stenzel
Willkommen im Studio! Wie ist Ihr Name. Frau Müller? Ich bin fünfzig Jahre alt. There they are interviewed by the DJ Claudia Stenzel. ich komme aber aus Linz. Or if you want.
ich bin verheiratet. und wie alt ist er? Unser Sohn heißt Lukas. Was sind Sie von Beruf? Von Beruf bin ich Sekretärin. Er ist zwanzig Jahre alt. Frau Stenzel.Anna Müller Claudia Stenzel Anna Müller Claudia Stenzel Anna Müller Claudia Stenzel Anna Müller Claudia Stenzel Anna Müller Claudia Stenzel Anna Müller
Linz liegt in Österreich. Sind sie verheiratet? Ja. Sie ist siebzehn Jahre alt. Wir haben einen Sohn und auch eine Tochter. Und Ihre Tochter? Unsere Tochter heißt Julia.
. wir haben zwei Kinder. Wie heißt Ihr Sohn. Haben Sie auch Kinder? Ja.
Whereas English nouns (except for "children"!) tend to end in "s" in the plural."
Wo ist Linz?
Linz liegt in Österreich
die Sekretärin This means "secretary"." See next Jahre alt section for explanation. sind Sie verheiratet? ja. "Where is Linz?" For questions which ask "Who?". Note that Claudia is using the polite "Sie" form when addressing Frau Müller. "Linz is in Austria." Literally: "Linz lies in Austria. I am married. followed by the verb and then the subject of the sentence. the question word comes first. Note the feminine "-in" suffix to describe Anna Müller. Yes. "Where?" or "Why?" for example.
ich bin fünfzig "I am 50 years old." You could also say: "Linz ist in Österreich. Sind Sie aus Berlin? "Are you from Berlin?" In many questions. ich bin verheiratet Kinder "Are you married?" Again note the word order for questions without a question word. the verb is the first element followed by the subject of the sentence. German has a whole range of plurals which
. This is the word for "children".Glossary
das Interview mit willkommen! das Studio willkommen im Studio! bitte Wie alt sind Sie?
interview with welcome! studio welcome to the studio! please "How old are you?" This construction will be explained in detail in the next section.
. we have two children. It is however reliant on the student knowing the different forms of the irregular verb "sein" (= "to be") which you should have learned by now!
Vocabulary 1: How old are you?
Singular wie alt bin ich? (How old am I?) wie alt bist du? (How old are wie alt sind you?)
. und eine Tochter Ihr Sohn unser Sohn
Wie alt ist er? How old is he? er ist zwanzig he is twenty years old Jahre alt Ihre Tochter unsere Tochter your daughter our daughter
sie ist she is seventeen years old siebzehn Jahre alt
3. . it is in fact irregular (see next section)." Although the verb "haben" ("to have") might look regular.2 How old are you?
Asking how old someone is in German required exactly the same construction as in English... haben Sie auch Kinder? Ja.. and a daughter your son Our son
Wir haben einen Sohn....need to be learned along with the gender. we have a son.. wir haben zwei Kinder Do you also have children? "Yes..
Sie? wie alt ist er/sie? Plural wie alt sind wir? wie alt seid ihr? wie alt sind Sie? wie alt sind sie? (How old are we?) (How old are you?) (How old is he/she?)
(How old are they?)
And you respond to this question by using the following constructions:
Vocabulary 2: I am 20 years old
Singular ich bin 20 Jahre (I am 20 years alt old) du bist 20 Jahre alt Sie sind 20 Jahre alt er ist 20 Jahre alt sie ist 20 Jahre alt Plural wir sind 20 Jahre alt ihr seid 20 Jahre alt Sie sind 20 Jahre alt sie sind 20 Jahre alt (We are 20 years old) (You are 20 years old) (You are 20 years old)
(He is 20 years old) (She is 20 years old)
(They are 20 years old)
The "-b-" of the stem disappears in both the "du" and the "er/sie" forms of the present tense:
Grammar 1: The verb "haben" (= to have)
Singular ich habe du hast Sie haben Plural wir haben ihr habt Sie haben sie haben We have You have (informal/formal) They have I have You have (informal/formal)
er/sie/es hat He/she/it has
3. you should put the verb first.3 Im Studio (2)
. followed by the subject of the sentence:
• • •
"Sind Sie verheiratet?" ("Are you married?") "Haben Sie Kinder?" ("Do you have children?") "Darf ich mich verabschieden?" ("May I say goodbye?")
Present tense of the verb "haben" The German verb "haben" (= "to have") is another common German verb which is irregular. the question word comes first.Different types of questions In the previous chapter we looked at word order in questions where there are specific question words. If you remember. followed by the verb and then the subject of the sentence:
• • •
"Wie geht es Ihnen?" ("How are you?") "Woher kommst du?" ("Where do you come from?") "Wo wohnen Sie?" ("Where do you live?")
We have seen from the previous conversation however that if there is no specific question word in the clause.
Sind sie verheiratet? Nein. Und mein Großvater hat eine Katze. you can listen to Radio Eins live on the Internet by clicking here. Was sind Sie von Beruf? Ich bin Gemüsehändler hier in Kreuzberg. Haben Sie Geschwister? Ja. Sie wohnen alle in der Türkei. Und wie heißen sie?
.Now it is Müslüm Can's turn to be interviewed by Claudia Stenzel at Radio Eins in Berlin. Or if you want. ich habe einen Bruder und zwei Schwestern. Ich habe auch keine Kinder. meine Eltern haben einen Hund. you can listen to the interviews by clicking on the "On air" icon. How does his situation and family life differ from that of Anna Müller? Once again. ich bin nicht verheiratet. Haben Sie Haustiere? Ja.
Conversation 2: Interview mit Müslüm Can
Claudia Stenzel Müslüm Can Claudia Stenzel Müslüm Can Claudia Stenzel Müslüm Can Claudia Stenzel Müslüm Can Claudia Stenzel Müslüm Can Claudia Stenzel
Willkommen im Studio! Wer sind Sie? Mein Name ist Müslüm Can.
Die Katze mag den Hund nicht. The German word "kein(e)" means "not any" or "no(ne)". Und er mag sie auch nicht!
Wer sind Sie?
"Who are you?" In this context this seems to be quite an abrupt way of asking somebody's name! Müslüm is a greengrocer." Just as in English.
der Gemüsehändler Kreuzberg
ich bin nicht verheiratet
ich habe keine Kinder
Haben Sie Geschwister?
. "Do you have any brothers or sisters?" The useful word "Geschwister" means "brothers and sisters". Don't you remember? Kreuzberg is a region of Berlin inhabited by people of many nationalities. Click here to visit the official homepage of Kreuzberg."nicht" .precedes an adjective." Literally: "I have no children".Müslüm Can
Der Hund heißt Rex und die Katze heißt Mieze. "I don't have any children. "I am not married. the German word for not .
"My parents".. One pet would be "ein Haustier". The next section will explain the endings on the indefinite article "einen". This means "everyone. while "sie" (= "she") refers back to the feminine noun "die Katze".
zwei Schwestern "Two sisters" alle
Haustiere meine Eltern
mein Großvater eine Katze Mieze Die Katze mag den Hund nicht
er. Literally: "The cat likes the dog not." Although the German word for "not" "nicht" . The full sentence would thus be translated as "They all live in Turkey". The next section will explain the endings on the indefinite article "einen".precedes an adjective (see above).ich habe einen Bruder
"I have a brother". "The cat doesn't like the dog". my grandfather Müslüm's grandfather has "a cat". "Mieze" approximates to the English "puss" or "pussy". all of them". it follows the object of a sentence. "Er" (= "he") refers back to the masculine noun "der Hund".. "Pets".sie
. This is the word for a "dog". The word "Eltern" is only used in the plural.
For the moment.but (as ever!) there are a large number of exceptions to these rules! 1. we will restrict ourselves to pointing out a few general guidelines .3.and from now on we will list each noun which we encounter with its plural form and the correct form of the definite article. Frau + "-en" = Frauen.e.4 Plurals of German nouns
With the exception of nouns such as "children" and "sheep". Forming the plural is by no means as simple as this in German. English plurals are invariably formed by adding "-s" to the singular form. where there are a number of possible plural endings. Feminine nouns
Feminine nouns are the most predictable in their plural form. The majority of them add "-en": i. It will thus be necessary for the student to learn the plural of each noun as well as its gender . Feminine nouns which end in "-in" (such as those describing professions and nationalities) add "-nen" in the plural:
. In the table below are the plurals of some of the nouns that we have encountered so far:
Grammar 2: Plurals of German nouns
Masculine Feminine Männer ("men") Freunde Söhne ("sons") Tage ("days") Frauen ("women")
Neuter Kinder ("children") ("offices") Mädchen Länder ("countries")
Freundinnen Büros Töchter Nächte ("nights")
Guidelines for forming the plural It will later be possible to determine a number of rules as to which noun takes which plural ending.
Yet take care: some feminine nouns also form their plurals in other ways. some nouns remain the same in the plural: i.e. Note that both the masculine and neuter forms are identical when the noun is the subject of the sentence. Kind + "-er" = Kinder. Other (mainly) masculine and neuter nouns add "-er" in the plural: i. The grammatical term for this is the indefinite article.5 Indefinite articles and "kein"
Indefinite articles In the last chapter we discovered that German nouns have genders. The different forms of the German indefinite article are listed below for each gender. Masculine and neuter nouns
Masculine and neuter nouns form their plural in a number of ways. Mann + "umlaut" + "-er" = Männer. To make matters more complicated.e.•
i. Büro + "-s" = Büros. Some of them add an "-e": i. Freundin + "-nen" = Freundinnen. This is also true of the German equivalents of "a" and "an" as in "a man" and "an occupation". and that the gender of a noun affects the form of the definite article. such as Nächte and Töchter!
2.e.e. Others add "-er" and also add an "umlaut" to the vowel: i. although there are not as many of them as there are in English. Others add an "-e" and also add an "umlaut" to the vowel: i. and they tend to be words imported from other languages: i.
3. Sohn + "umlaut" + "-e" = Söhne. Or: Engländerin + "-nen" = Engländerinnen.e. Mädchen (singular and plural). Tag + "-e" = Tage.
Grammar 3: The indefinite article
Masculine Feminine ein Mann ("a man") eine Frau
Neuter ein Kind
("a woman") ("a child")
.e. Some nouns add "-s" in the plural.e.
the plural of "ein Sohn" is "Söhne". However "kein" is also used to translate "not a". The literal translation "nicht ein" should be avoided.ein Freund ("a friend") ein Sohn ("a son") ein Tag ("a day")
eine Freundin ("a friend") eine Tochter ("a daughter") eine Nacht ("a night")
ein Büro ("an office") ein Mädchen ("a girl") ein Land ("a country")
The plural of definite and indefinite articles The definite article of a plural noun is always "die". So just as the plural of "a son" in English is "sons". the indefinite article disappears in the plural in German. as the table below displays:
Grammar 4: Plural of the definite article
Singular der Mann die Frau ("the man") Plural die Männer ("the men") die Frauen die Kinder ("the women") ("the children") ("the woman") das Kind ("the child")
Just as in English. Thus you could either
. The word "kein" The simple translation of the German word "kein" is "no" as in Müslüm Can's statement: "Ich habe keine Kinder" (= I have no children). regardless of gender.
being liked by the cat.
The dog is playing a different role in each of the two sentences. the dog is on the receiving end of the action . we speak of the dog being the subject of the sentence. As far as endings are concerned. it is carrying out the action of the verb liking the cat. the dog. we speak of the dog being the object of the sentence. We also say that it is in the accusative case. In this instance. In the second sentence. In this instance. We will discover what t3.e.translate "Ich habe keine Kinder" as "I don't have any children" or "I haven't got any children".
. "kein" behaves just like the indefinite article "ein":
Grammar 5: The word "kein"
Masculine Feminine Neuter kein Mann ("no man") kein Tag ("no day") keine Frau ("no woman") keine Nacht ("no night") kein Kind ("no child") kein Land ("no country")
Plural keine Eltern ("no parents") keine Länder ("no countries")
But these are only the endings for "kein" when it is the subject of a sentence i. We also say that it is in the nominative case. In the first sentence. But "kein" is used most often to describe the objects of sentences and takes quite different endings. in a sentence such as "No child was unhappy".6
The accusative case
Subject Compare 1) 2) the The The two dog cat and following likes likes object English sentences: the cat.
But with the arrival of verbs such as "haben" (= "to have") which take a direct object. This is not the case in German. the definite article only has a different form in the accusative case in this specific instance . carrying out the action of the verb . ("The cat likes the dog. "ich heiße Michael". "Wie alt bist du?". In the English sentences which we have considered above. The definite article can be written differently depending on whether the noun to which it refers is in the nominative or the accusative case. ("The dog likes the cat. we need to acquaint ourselves with the accusative case.Der Hund mag die Katze
Subject and object in German The majority of sentences which we have examined so far involve nouns in the nominative case.e.g. Look closely at the definite articles in the German equivalents of the two sentences concerning the dog and the cat: 1) Der Hund mag die Katze.") 2) Die Katze mag den Hund.namely when we are referring to a singular masculine noun:
Grammar 6: The definite article
Nominative Accusative Masculine der Mann Feminine die Frau Neuter Plural das Kind die Eltern den Mann die Frau das Kind die Eltern
.") As the table below indicates however. the nouns "the dog" and "the cat" are written the same regardless of whether the noun is the subject or the object of the sentence.
Grammar 7: The indefinite article
Nominative Accusative Masculine ein Mann Feminine eine Frau Neuter ein Kind einen Mann eine Frau ein Kind
The accusative of "kein" Logically enough.") 2) Eine Katze mag keinen Hund. ("A dog likes a cat.The accusative of the indefinite article The same phenomenon came be observed when the indefinite article is used: 1) Ein Hund mag eine Katze. "kein" negates a noun. So the opposite of "Ich habe ein Kind" is not "Ich habe nicht ein Kind" but "Ich habe kein Kind".") 2) Eine Katze mag einen Hund. ("A cat likes a dog. the negative "kein" declines in exactly the same way as "ein" in the accusative: 1) Ein Hund mag keine Katze.")
Grammar 8: Declension of "kein"
Nominative Accusative Masculine kein Mann keinen Mann kein Kind keine Eltern
Feminine keine Frau keine Frau Neuter Plural kein Kind keine Eltern
Remember in particular that while "nicht" negates a verb (or an adjective or adverb). ("A cat doesn't like a dog. ("A dog doesn't like a cat.
The full list of possessive adjectives is as follows:
Grammar 9: Nominative of possessive adjectives
Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural My mein meine deine Ihre seine ihre seine unsere eure Ihre ihre ihre seine mein dein Ihr sein ihr sein unser euer Ihr ihr ihr sein meine deine Ihre seine ihre seine unsere eure Ihre ihre ihre seine Your dein (sing.hese are in the next section
3. We require a second table to explain these fully:
Grammar 10: Accusative of possessive adjectives
Masculine Feminine Neuter Plural My meinen meine deine Ihre seine ihre seine mein dein Ihr sein ihr sein meine deine Ihre seine ihre seine Your deinen (sing. such as "your" and "his" in "What is your name?" or "What is his name?". We have already met some of them in the German equivalent of these questions "Wie ist Ihr Name?" or "Wie ist sein Name?".) Ihren His Her Its seinen ihren seinen
.7 Possessive adjectives
Possessive adjectives are those adjectives which refer to ownership. we find that the endings on all possessive adjectives change when they are in the accusative.) Ihr His Her Its Our sein ihr sein unser
Your euer (plural) Ihr Their Her Its ihr ihr sein
So whilst "your child" is "euer Kind". a party held at the bride's house on the eve of the wedding that literally translates as "an evening of making noise".for example the stag night (der Junggesellenabschied) during which the groom celebrates his last few hours of freedom by drinking himself into an alcoholic stupor with his friends. which means "your" when you are addressing more than one person informally. Some of them will be familiar to us .wedding guests and other friends bring ceramic dishes (but no glass. as this brings bad luck!) and smash them on the ground to ward off evil spirits.9 German Families
The wedding (die Hochzeit) A German wedding (die Hochzeit) is as lavish an occasion as it is in Britain. the second "-e-" of the stem disappears. and one that incorporates a large number of traditions. preferably together as this shows that they are willing to work as a team in bad times as well as good.Our
unsere eure Ihre ihre ihre seine
unser euer Ihr ihr ihr sein
unsere eure Ihre ihre ihre seine
Your euren (plural) Ihren Their Her Its ihren ihren seinen
Grammatical points 1) Be very careful to distinguish between Ihr (= "your" (polite)) and ihr (= "their. and "your cat" is "eure Katze". "your children" translates as "eure Kinder". And this is precisely what happens .
. When an ending is added to "euer". The capital letter is crucial here! 2) The spelling of the various forms of euer. her"). Less familiar however is der Polterabend. The bride (die Braut) and groom (der Bräutigam) then clear up the pieces with a broom (see below).
3. can prove difficult.
it is her veil that is passed on to the female guest who is next in line for marriage. the first task of the bride and groom on leaving the
A traditional German wedding
German wedding celebrations (die Hochzeitsfeier) vary from region to region and from town to region. As these locations invariably include local hostelries. In other rural areas. Rice is thrown in the air as the happy couple leave the church and instead of the bride's bouquet. the groom will buy drinks for any acquaintances that he might meet on his journey. The bride often carries salt and bread as an omen for good harvest. whereas the groom carries grain for good luck and wealth. the bride is "kidnapped" before the marriage by friends and family and the groom has to search strategic locations to find her. In parts of North Germany the newlyweds return to their house to find that the doors have been barricaded shut and that all the furniture has been placed on the roof! Their first task as a a married couple is thus to rescue their furniture and get into their house without any outside help. In some rural areas.Sweeping up after a Polterabend
Other differences to note are that German married couples wear their wedding ring (der Ehering) on their right hand. Both the bride and the groom wear simple gold bands that are very different to the diamond-encrusted wedding rings that are often found in Britain.
Secondly. die Partnerin) in a so-called Lebenspartnerschaft (partnership for life). The decline in the number of marriages is particularly pronounced in the former GDR. In the new German states and in the eastern part of Berlin. By 1990 this figure had more than doubled to 1. One in three marriages now ends in divorce. a relationship that is now recognised and protected by civil law. Not very practical if you're wearing a wedding dress or a tuxedo. only 0. Given the strenuous and expensive nature of a traditional wedding. More and more couples are choosing instead to live as nonmarried partners (der Partner.. And by 1999 there were 2. The money thus saved can then be spent on on the honeymoon (die Flitterwochen).000 marriages in 1960. or 2.000. more marriages now end in divorce (die Ehescheidung) than ever before. marriage (die Ehe) no longer holds such a central place in German society as it used to. the number of such households increased sevenfold. Between 1972 and 1990. This can be explained partially by the dramatic social changes in the former East Germany brought about by reunification and partially by the fact that under socialism many couples had chosen to marry primarily in order to secure better accommodation and child-care benefits. fewer Germans choose to get married in the first place. it seems hardly surprising that an increasing number of Germans forsake the additional chuch ceremony (die kirchliche Trauung) and make do with a simple civil ceremony (die zivile Trauung) at a registry office (das Standesamt).408 divorces being registered in the year 2000.000 marriages in Germany in 1993 compared to 690.7 percent of all households. living together outside of marriage is very common: one couple in eight have no marriage certificate. There were only 442. To marry or not to marry? As in other European countries. to 963. Firstly.9 out of 1000 Germans had been part of a marriage that ended in divorce.. In 1960. This civil ceremony is required by law.church is to saw through a log using a 2-man log saw.1 million unmarried (unverheiratet) German couples living together which meant that one couple in ten did not have a marriage certificate. with a record 194. where the number of marriages dropped by over 50 per cent between 1990 and 1993.9 per thousand inhabitants. Many
1 for women in the new Länder. only foreign families were regularly having two or more children. For about 25 years the birth rate has been one third below the level necessary to replenish the population. From August 2001 onwards. The one area in which marriage is on the increase is in the gay and lesbian communities.5 for women in the old Länder. In 1992 the average age at first marriage had risen to 29. The aim was to redress the traditional role division between the sexes whereby mothers typically stayed at home to look after their children. which had an adverse effect on their professional lives. By 1990 this figure had declined to 2.1 for men and 25. with the Turkish subgroup being the largest in terms of family size. In the early 1990s.
A German mother and child
The Federal Government has become increasingly aware of the need to promote family life and as of 1 January 2001 new legislation governing child-raising benefit came into force. In 1950 the average number of persons in German households was 3. The slump in the birth-rate has been particularly pronounced after reunification in the east of Germany where a combination of high female unemployment and the dismantling of the GDR's child-care system has dissuaded women from starting a family. same-sex couples can marry in registry offices and enjoy all the rights that
.of these are young couples who are choosing to live together before getting married.0. compared with 27. entitling both parents to apply for child-raising leave simultaneously and spend up to 30 hours a week in part-time work.3.0 for men and 26. To have children or not to have children? Equally noticeable is the falling birth rate in Germany with more and more couples choosing not to have children.
e. both gender and plural will be given. We will start off with the family. Unless otherwise indicated. Foreign partners of German gays and lesbians are also now allowed to join them in Germany. this will not be given with the plural of nouns. As the definite article of all plurals is "die".
3. vocabulary sections will appear at the end of each chapter to tie in with the topics which have been discussed. such that you can describe your own family and pets to your friends:
Vocabulary 4: Male family members
Singular husband partner father stepfather father-in-law grandfather brother stepbrother twin brother brother-inlaw son der Mann der Partner der Lebenspartner der Vater der Stiefvater der Schwiegervater der Großvater der Opa der Bruder der Stiefbruder der Zwillingsbruder der Schwager der Sohn
Plural Männer Partner Lebenspartner Väter Stiefväter Schwiegerväter Großväter Opas Brüder Stiefbrüder Zwillingsbrüder Schwäger Söhne
.i. have the normal endings which we have already seen.
. followed by pets on the next page. For each noun. as well as any peculiarities which the noun possesses. you should assume that verbs are regular .10 Vocabulary: The Family
From now on.heterosexual spouses have in areas such as inheritance and health insurance.
grandson stepson son-in-law uncle nephew cousin (male)
der Enkel der Enkelsohn der Stiefsohn der Schwiegersohn der Onkel der Neffe der Cousin
Enkel Enkelsöhne Stiefsöhne Schwiegersöhne Onkel Neffen Cousins
Test yourself! You can test yourself on your knowledge of this vocabulary by clicking on the bar below:
A German family in Hamburg Vocabulary 5: Female family members
Singular wife partner mother stepmother mother-in-law grandmother sister stepsister die Frau die Partnerin die Lebenspartnerin die Mutter die Stiefmutter die Schwiegermutter die Großmutter die Oma die Schwester
Plural Frauen Partnerinnen Lebenspartnerinnen Mütter Stiefmütter Schwiegermütter Großmütter Omas Schwestern
die Stiefschwester Stiefschwestern
twin sister sister-in-law daughter stepdaughter daughter-inlaw aunt niece cousin (female)
die Zwillingsschwestern Zwillingsschwester die Schwägerin die Tochter die Stieftochter die Schwiegertochter die Tante die Nichte die Cousine Schwägerinnen Töchter Enkelinnen Stieftöchter Schwiegertöchter Tanten Nichten Cousinen
granddaughter die Enkelin
Test yourself! You can test yourself on your knowledge of this vocabulary by clicking on the bar below:
Cousins Vocabulary 6: Neuter family members
Singular girl child grandchild stepchild only child das Mädchen das Kind das Enkelkind das Stiefkind das Einzelkind
Plural Mädchen Kinder Enkelkinder Stiefkinder Einzelkinder
Vocabulary 7: Plural family members
English brothers and sisters parents grandparents step-parents parents-in-law twins
German Geschwister Eltern Großeltern Stiefeltern Schwiegereltern Zwillinge
Vocabulary 8: Family phrases
Haben Sie Familie? Do you have any family? Haben Sie Kinder? Do you have any children? ich habe einen Sohn I have a son ich habe keine Kinder I have no children Hast du Geschwister? Do you have any brothers or sisters? ich habe eine Stiefschwester I have a step-sister ich habe keine Geschwister I have no brothers or sisters ich bin Einzelkind
whether you like them. and whether they like each other!
Vocabulary 9: Pets (masculine)
Singular bird canary cockerel cuckoo dog donkey fish frog goldfish hamster parrot wolf der Vogel der Kanarienvogel der Hahn der Kuckuck der Hund der Esel der Fisch der Frosch der Goldfisch der Hamster der Papagei der Wolf budgerigar der Wellensittich
Plural Vögel Wellensittiche Kanarienvögel Hähne Kuckucke Hunde Esel Fische Frösche Goldfische Hamster Papageien Wölfe
. Practise saying which pets you have.11 Vocabulary: Pets
Here is a list of pets found in Britain and Germany along with some birds and farm animals.I am an only child ich bin verheiratet I am married ich wohne mit einem Partner zusammen ich wohne mit einer Partnerin zusammen I live with my partner ich bin geschieden I am divorced ich bin ledig I'm not married ich bin verwitwet I am widowed
Vocabulary 10: Pets (feminine)
Singular bee cat cow crow goat goose hen lizard mouse owl pigeon rat snake tortoise die Biene die Katze die Kuh die Krähe die Ziege die Gans die Henne die Eidechse die Maus die Eule die Taube die Ratte die Schlange die Schildkröte
Plural Bienen Katzen Kühe Krähen Ziegen Gänse Hennen Eidechsen Mäuse Eulen Tauben Ratten Schlangen Schildkröten
Vocabulary 11: Pets (neuter)
Singular animal chick guineapig horse insect pet rabbit sheep das Tier das Küken das Meerschweinchen das Pferd das Insekt das Haustier das Kaninchen das Schaf
Plural Tiere Küken Meerschweinchen Pferde Insekten Haustiere Kaninchen Schafe
Test yourself! You can test yourself on your knowledge of this vocabulary by clicking on the bar below:
Did you know:
• • •
that "das Haustier" (= "pet") literally means "house animal"? that "das Meerschweinchen" (= "guinea-pig") literally means "little sea pig"? that "das Nilpferd" (= "hippopotamus") literally means "Nile horse"?
Vocabulary 12: Pet phrases
Haben Sie ein Haustier? Do you have a pet? Haben Sie Haustiere? Do you have any pets?
Dogs. Some parks or streets have a special area designated as a "Hundeklo" (= "doggy loo").
There are however several initiatives to help owners.there is a law which says they have to be kept in. are taken everywhere.12 Germans and their dogs
Man(n)'s best friend? The poster states proudly: "Wir gehören zusammen!" . And it is immediately apparent to the outsider that Germans adore their dogs. on the other hand. and bins are also provided. In popular dog-walking areas you will see vending machines (der Automat) for bags and scoops to get rid of mess. "dog zones" (die Hundezone) or "a suitable place to walk your dogs" (der Hundeauslaufplatz)."We belong together". for example. It's not unusual to see them in restaurants with their own water bowls supplied by the proprietor. You will also see signs in every park pointing out the strict "pooper-scooper" laws and designating special areas for dogs to swim in so that the rest is more pleasant for human bathers. Cats are much less visible in German cities .they all have to be registered and vaccinated against rabies (die Tollwut).
. In Vienna. certain areas are clearly designated as either "dog-free" (das Hundeverbot).ich habe keine Haustiere I have no pets ich habe einen Hund I have a dog ich habe keinen Hund I don't have a dog wir haben drei Katzen we have three cats
3. and this is respected in Germany. This is in part because German dogs have traditionally been well-behaved . as this is prevalent in many areas among wildlife.
Berlin correspondent for The Guardian wrote: "There are more dogs in Berlin than in most of Germany's other big cities put together."
Until the start of the new millennium. dobermans and other dogs that look as if they eat a poodle or two for breakfast. American Staffordshire terriers. and the "der Maulkorbzwang". along with rottweilers. bull terriers or Tosa Inu must have them sterilised. roam about unhindered.Dog ownership however is one area in which the Germans are inclined to turn a blind eye to the regulations. but ambling along pavements. not just rambling in the parks. John Hooper. anyone owning pitbulls. the requirement that certain dogs are kept on a leash in public. These measure have proved unpopular
. and even in restaurants and clubs. that is. The tragic death of a six-year-old Turkish boy in Hamburg at the hands of a pit-bull terrier and a Staffordshire terrier in July 2000 finally provoked the authorities into action after a growing number of children had been attacked by fighting dogs (der Kampfhund) ("fighting dogs"). These include stricter implementation of "der Leinenzwang". regardless of breed. Even members of the most popular breed. Some commentators have gone as far as to suggest that all dogs. And an astonishing number can be found off their leads. the pit bull terrier. should be kept on a leash when out in public. the requirement that certain dogs are muzzled. Since then a number of measures have been introduced on a regional level to control how dangerous dogs are kept. lounging in cafes and bars. And in Berlin.
Watch the adverts for Whiskas cat food on their homepage! A good thematic link-list of homepages devoted to German animals from Birgit Bachmann. Visit a "virtual reality" zoo in Zurich. German Embassy Dangerous Dogs Capital letters The German Embassy in London explains what legislation exists concerning dangerous dogs in Germany and why.with dog owners.
Virtual Zoo Whiskas cat food Die Tier-Seite
1. In German only. mähh". and they are digging their heels in for a long battle with the authorities.
Web sites on pets and other animals
German Visit this site to find out animal sounds which German animal goes "wau! wau!". Visit the homepages of zoos in German-speaking countries.
. John Hooper of The Guardian reports on his experiences of being a dog owner in Berlin. You will then be required to answer 12 multiple-choice questions about the passage. Reading comprehension It's time to test how much you can understand of a written passage of German! In the following exercise. click on the "Start Reading" button on the top right hand side of the page and read the passage which opens up for you. and which goes "mähh.
In this chapter you will learn:
• • • • • • •
how to order food in a restaurant how to pay for food in a restaurant how to count from 21 to 99 in German how to express prices in German a range of vocabulary for food and drink about eating out in Germany about how the introduction of the Euro is proceeding in Germany
Grammar Grammatically. Having arrived at Berlin's new central station. arrives in Berlin for the first time by train. You only have five minutes to read the passage before it disappears! Can you answer the questions correctly .There is one additional difficulty however.
4. whom we first met in Chapter 2. he then takes the local train to Zoo Station. this chapter concentrates on asking different types of questions. the Hauptbahnhof.1 Café Einstein
The Scotsman Ken McNaught. We shall also learn about numbers and how to use them in different contexts.and in time? (Hint: You might wish to have either a German-English dictionary and/or our glossary of vocabulary open in separate windows to help you.) Click on the bar below to get started. He gets off and then walks for a while along the famous Kurfürstendamm street in the city centre before stopping off at the Café Einstein near the Kaiser-WilhelmGedächtniskirche (= Kaiser Wilhelm memorial church) for
Conversation 1: Im Café Einstein
Kellnerin Ken McNaught Kellnerin Ken McNaught Kellnerin Ken
Guten Morgen! Guten Morgen! Bitte schön? Was bekommen Sie? Kaffee.something
drink. bitte. click here for a panoramic view of the Kaiser-WilhelmGedächtniskirche.
Listen to his conversation with the waitress in the café by clicking either here or on the sound icon at the top of the previous paragraph. (Tip: you can rotate your view of the church through 360° by placing your mouse in the picture!) click here to find the location of Ken McNaught on a map of Berlin. You can also:
click here for a panoramic view of Berlin's Zoo station taken by Helmut Koelbach. Eine Tasse oder ein Kännchen? Eine Tasse. click here for a panoramic view of Berlin's famous Kurfürstendamm thoroughfare at night taken by Helmut Koelbach. click here for a live webcam of the Kurfürstendamm and the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche.
McNaught Kellnerin Ken McNaught Kellnerin Ken McNaught Kellnerin Mit Milch und Zucker? Mit Milch aber ohne Zucker. Möchten Sie sonst noch etwas? Und ein Stück Sachertorte. (Sie kommt zurück.) Bitte sehr. Ein Stück Sachertorte, eine Tasse Kaffee. Vielen Dank. Ich möchte gleich zahlen. Das macht neun Euro fünfzig, bitte. Zehn Euro. Bitte schön. Stimmt so. Ich danke Ihnen. Auf Wiedersehen! Auf Wiedersehen!
Ken McNaught Kellnerin Ken McNaught Kellnerin Ken McNaught Kellnerin
Café Einstein Glossary
das Café im Café die Kellnerin bitte schön
The café in the café waitress This is essentially an invitation to speak. We might translate it by "What can I get you?" "Bitte" normally means "please". "What can I get you?" This is one
bekommen Sie? der Kaffee die Tasse das Kännchen
of many ways of asking in German what a customer wants. coffee cup This is the word for a "pot" of coffee. In some cafés you might be required to order a pot of coffee rather than a cup. milk sugar without
die Milch der Zucker ohne
mit Milch aber "With milk but without sugar." As ohne Zucker in English, the definite article is omitted in this context. Möchten Sie sonst noch etwas? das Stück die Sachertorte "Would you like anything else?" The waitress naturally uses the polite form "Sie" to address her customers. a piece This is a variety of chocolate gateau, invented in 1832 by Metternich's Viennese cook, Franz Sacher. See the picture at the top of the page or click here for a recipe. This is a what the waitress says when she puts your food in front of you. We might possibly translate it by "There you go". (She comes back) This means "Many thanks". It expresses more gratefulness than the word "danke". immediately I would like to pay immediately "It comes to...". Literally: "This makes..." nine euros fifty (cents)
(Sie kommt zurück) vielen Dank
gleich ich möchte gleich zahlen das macht... neun Euro fünfzig
Ken gives the waitress the money and thus uses the same phrase as she had done when she brought him the food. Literally: "(That's) correct like that". We would translate it by saying "Keep the change!" Literally: "I thank you." It is simply another variant of "Thanks!".
ich danke Ihnen
4.2 At the snack bar
At the same time as Ken McNaught is drinking coffee at the restaurant, elsewhere in Berlin the two friends Sonja Malchow and Verena Offenberg are ordering something to eat at a typical Berlin Imbiss - an open stall or kiosk which you will see on street corners in German-speaking countries - outside the underground station (der U-Bahnhof) in Pankow. Listen to their conversation with the snack bar owner Herr Aksoy by clicking either here or on the sound icon at the top of the previous paragraph. You can also click here to find the location of the snack bar and Pankow underground station on a map of Berlin.
Conversation 2: Der Imbiss
Herr Aksoy Sonja Malchow Herr Aksoy
Guten Morgen! Guten Morgen! Bitte schön? Was wünschen
bitte. Möchten Sie auch ein Brötchen? Ja. Zehn Euro. Mit Ketschup und Pommes? Mit Ketschup aber ohne Pommes. Ein Euro siebzig. bitte. Und ich nehme eine Currywurst. Ein Euro achtzig.) Danke sehr! Und sechs Euro und fünfzig zurück. bitte. Gerne. (She hands over a ten euro note. Eine große oder eine kleine? Eine kleine.Sie? Sonja Malchow Herr Aksoy Sonja Malchow Herr Aksoy Sonja Malchow Herr Aksoy Sonja Malchow Herr Aksoy Verena Offenberg Herr Aksoy Verena Offenberg Herr Aksoy Ich möchte gerne eine Bratwurst. bitte. bitte. Guten Appetit! Danke schön!
This is one of several words for a
From the French "Pommes frites".?" See the auch.. Note that anything that you ask for will be in the accusative case! "A (fried) sausage". Usually served with a roll... Herr Aksoy chooses to ask more specifically.."snack bar".including "das Mädchen"... "Chips".. . it was spelled the same way as the English word.. please Unsurprisingly.
eine große." on its own could be also be used here without "gerne".. Until the recent German spelling reform.. the conventional request for information. was wünschen Sie? "What would you like?" Having started with "Bitte schön". The German reputation for eating sausages is certainly borne out by the choice offered at their snack bars! a big (sausage).. das Brötchen "A bread roll". this means "ketchup".. you are just as likely to hear "Pommes". You might also see the words "der Schnellimbiss". "I would like.. All nouns ending in "-chen" are neuter .. "Ich möchte..
ich möchte gerne..". "die Imbissbude" or "die Würstchenbude" ("sausage stand"). it does not need to be repeated when you are describing it by means of an adjective. While "Pommes frites" is the version listed in German dictionaries. ".? conversation in the first section.oder eine kleine?
bitte der Ketschup
möchten Sie "Would you like..or a small (sausage)?" If the noun has already been mentioned immediately beforehand.. The suffix "-chen"
gerne Another word that is difficult to translate. "One euro seventy (cents)".3 Please and thank you
The use of "bitte" As the dialogues in this section have shown.means "little" or "small".i. gerne" translates as a more enthusiastic version of "Yes please!" "One euro eighty (cents)". We might translate it by "Can I help you?". "many thanks" (literally: "thanks very") Literally "back". "Enjoy your food!" or "bon appetit".as here . you would use "bitte" to translate "please" .
When you are asking somebody for something. "Bitte" is used by a waiter or someone offering a service to attract the customer's attention. but here we would translate it as "in return".e. the German word bitte and its variants bitte schön and bitte sehr can have a variety of meanings. "eine Currywurst.
ein Euro achtzig eine Currywurst
ein Euro siebzig danke sehr zurück Guten Appetit!
4. The combination "Ja. Very few German words begin with "c". "A curried sausage".imported from other languages. bitte" (= "a curried sausage please").
. "Gerne" on its own means "happily" or "willingly". and many of those that do are .
"vielen Dank" (= many thanks) and "ich danke Ihnen/dir" (= I thank you) have no specific predetermined answer. You would expect the person to whom you were handing over the object to respond by saying "danke" (see below). which is the German equivalent of "thanks" or "thank you". In this context it would mean "Here you are". "Danke" is often followed by either "schön" or "sehr". This acknowledgement of thanks is not simply a matter of politeness . If so.•
You would also say "bitte" when handing things over to somebody. The following table lists the pattern of responses:
Vocabulary 1: "Danke" and "bitte"
Thanks! danke danke schön danke sehr vielen Dank
You're welcome! bitte bitte schön bitte sehr any of the above
ich danke Ihnen/dir any of the above The other forms of saying thanks . then the "bitte" response will be similarly modified.
"Bitte" is also used as a response to "danke".it can be impolite not to follow a "danke" with a "bitte". but do require some form of "bitte (schön/sehr)". "Bitte" then means "You're welcome!" or "Don't mention it!". since to a German speaker you may appear to be refusing their thanks.
6 billion notes from the D-Mark era needed to be taken out of circulation. Austria and 10 other member states of the European Union.4 German currency: The Euro
The changeover from the Deutsche Mark At the stroke of midnight on 1 January 2002.5 billion coins and 2. bank transfers and credit cards. changing the currency proved to be a huge logistical undertaking which in itself is estimated to have cost 2. euro notes and coins were introduced into Germany. shops and supermarkets started to list prices in both marks and euros from 1999 onwards:
. after which point der Euro (€ or EUR) became the only acceptable currency in Germany. it is still possible to exchange them at German banks. travellers' cheques. 28.4.that is. The old German currency. the new currency could be used from 1 January 1999 onwards in the form of "written money" . As the pictures below indicate. amidst firework displays across the European mainland. As you can imagine.94 thousand million Marks were still in circulation. Furthermore. Thus many German employees could choose whether they wished to be paid in euros or marks.5 billion coins and 2. by means of cheques. Yet the changeover passed smoothly. it was calculated in May 2005 that coins to the value of 3.5 billion euro banknotes needed to be introduced to shops. banks and cashpoints (see picture). not least because Germans had been well prepared for it by a Government information campaign. The German Bundesbank believes however that much of this is money that has either been lost or destroyed. Postage stamps issued in D-Marks ceased to be legally valid in June 2002. although the euro notes and coins were only introduced into circulation at the start of 2002.4 billion Marks. Should you still have any German marks or pfennigs (the smaller denomination of the old currency).72 thousand million Deutschmarks and notes to the value of 3. die Deutsche Mark (DM) or die D-Mark (but NOT "Deutschmark"!) was still legal tender until 28 February 2002. whilst at the same time 15. Nevertheless.
many Germans nevertheless bade farewell to the mark with great reluctance. As the alleged price increases were not reflected in the rate of inflation. when the currency was worth that little that people needed to transport it in wheelbarrows if they needed to buy something substantial. no other major currency. It had become the second-largest currency component of global monetary reserves. with price rises of 100% being registered on some consumer staples. The price of everyday times staples such as bread and restaurant meals have been particularly affected. German suspicions about the euro have been increased by popular fears that manufacturers and shopkeepers took advantage of the introduction of the new currency to raise prices on the sly.But although the advantages of a single European currency have been widely accepted. second only to the United States dollar ." But the overall impression remains that the changeover to the
. The mark had been a symbol of fifty years of German post-War reliability and economic revival. Since the mark became fully convertible in 1958.which itself lost about two-thirds of its value against the Deutsche Mark since 1958. the German government was initially slow to react to popular discontent. banishing the traumatic memories of hyper-inflation in the 1920's. which is a play on the German word for expensive "teuer". including the Japanese yen or the Swiss franc. Consumer affairs minister Renate Künast has also convened a meeting with retail and trade groups to push for "a return to fair prices. had been stronger. Finance Minister Hans Eichel called for a consumer boycott of businesses which had tried to cash in on the currency changeover. Consumer groups and tabloid newspapers have rechristened the new currency "der Teuro". Having been overcharged for a sandwich in May 2002 however.
In 2006.750 Greek drachma (GRD) 0. This has proved useful in helping German citizens to come to terms with the new currency.3399 Luxembourg francs (LUF) 2.95583 German marks.new currency has been much more successful than Eurosceptics had predicted. an opinion poll showed that 46% of Germans agreed with the statement: "The Euro is good for us and makes us stronger for the future". 2002: The new euro
What's a euro worth? Since January 1 1999.3399 Belgian francs (BEF) 5. a survey by the Dresdner Bank found that only 36% of Germans were in favour of the euro.94573 Finnish markka (FIM) 6. the euro has had an irrevocably fixed conversion rate against the national currencies participating in the Eurozone.7903 Austrian schillings (ATS) 40.
1.787564 Irish pounds (IEP) 1936. One euro is also worth:
• • • • • • • • • • •
13. as one euro is thus roughly equal to two German marks. compared to 43% in a similar survey in 2004. An almost equal number of Germans (44%) thought however that the Euro "weakens the country". Yet by the end of 2007.55957 French francs (FRF) 340.27 Italian lira (ITL) 40. the value of one euro has been fixed at 1.386 Spanish pesetas (ESP)
. Jan.20371 Dutch guilders (NLG) 200.482 Portuguese escudos (PTE) 166. From that date onwards.
the word "Cent" is only written in the singular in
. "two pounds fifty" etc. Similarly. "three euros and eighty cents".
Vocabulary 3: Die Währung (currency)
der Euro (euro) das Pfund (pound) der Franken (Swiss franc) der Yen (Japanese yen) die Mark die D-Mark die deutsche Mark (German mark)
der Cent (cent) der Dollar (dollar) der Rappen (Swiss centime) der Rubel (Russian rouble)
Note therefore that while there are three different ways of expressing the former German currency.drei Euro achtzig.4. although one euro consists of a hundred cents. none of them were the word "Deutschmark" . In German prices however.which only existed in English! Test yourself! You can test yourself on your knowledge of currency vocabulary by clicking on the bar below:
How to express prices When we express prices in English. zwei Pfund fünfzig. but others are not. they start with a capital letter.g. Many international currencies . the currency itself will be in the plural if the number is greater than one e. the currency is always in the singular in prices regardless of the amount .6 Expressing prices and currencies
Currencies As currencies are proper nouns in German.such as der Euro and der Cent are masculine.
as in the list of drinks prices on the board in the picture below.635" means "two thousand six hundred and thirty-five euros" . When a price ends in a round number of euros.e.99 €) means "three euros and ninety-nine cents". price tickets can either display a comma or a decimal point. a comma is invariably used in prices where we would put a decimal point in English. Click here or on the sound icon at the top of the page to listen to them:
Vocabulary 4: Numbers 21-99
21 einundzwanzig 22 zweiundzwanzig 23 dreiundzwanzig 24 vierundzwanzig 25 fünfundzwanzig 26 sechsundzwanzig 27 siebenundzwanzig 28 achtundzwanzig 29 neunundzwanzig 30 dreißig
31 einunddreißig 32 zweiunddreißig 40 vierzig 45 fünfundvierzig 50 fünfzig 54 vierundfünfzig 60 sechzig 70 siebzig 80 achtzig 90 neunzig
. In the dialogues in this section we have discovered that larger numbers are required when buying things in Germany. Note that in written German.not "two point six three five euros"!
4. it is most commonly written as € 5. Thus € 3.7 Numbers: 21-99
In Chapter 3 we learned how to count from one to twenty in German. German uses a decimal point. The reverse is also true. In shops and supermarkets however.i. zwölf Euro (und) zehn Cent (= twelve euros and ten cents). So "€ 2. A list of German numbers from twenty-one to ninety-nine is given below.German prices . as the price tags below display. Whereas English uses a comma to split up large numbers.etc..99 (or 3.
The biggest difficulty which English-speakers experience with German numbers is that cardinal numbers above twenty appear to be formed "backwards". . Be very careful of endings when using numbers containing "ein(e)". There are no endings on "ein" here as it appears in the middle of another number.00 is written as einundzwanzig Euro. There is one exception to this however: the German for "thirty" is "dreißig".€ 21. When they are written out.€ 21. German says "vierundzwanzig" (= four and twenty) like the "four-and-twenty blackbirds" in the nursery rhyme "Sing a Song of Sixpence".e. . This takes a lot of getting used to! Note in particular the difference between 45 and 54 in the list above. The German equivalent of the suffix "-ty" (as in "forty". "achtundsiebzig" whereas we would write "seventy-eight".) is "-zig". each number is one continuous word .
.21 is likewise written as einundzwanzig Euro einundzwanzig. "fifty" etc.i.DM 1. English-speakers often get such similar pairs of numbers the wrong way round.Test yourself! You can test yourself on your knowledge of this vocabulary by clicking on the bar below:
Explanation 1.20 however is written as eine Mark zwanzig as "die Mark" is a feminine noun.€ 1. Note too that German numbers greater than twelve are seldom written as words. Whereas we say "twenty-four". 4. For example: .20 is written as ein Euro zwanzig as "der Euro" is a masculine noun. .
3. 2. except on cheques.
natürlich. Ist hier noch frei? Mann Nein. Anna Müller Entschuldigen Sie bitte.
. Nehmen Sie Platz! Guten Tag. the two Berlin neighbours whom we saw meeting for the first time in an earlier section. Sie wünschen bitte? Tee. Nein. Wein?
Anna Müller Vielen Dank.4.
Conversation 3: Im Restaurant (1)
Anna Müller Guten Tag. Kaffee. Kakao. ein Bier! Ein großes oder ein kleines? Ein kleines. hier ist leider besetzt. have met up at the "Café Lit" restaurant for a meal. But first they need to find a seat! Click on the sound graphic at the top of this paragraph or here to listen to their conversation. Kellner Margarete Schäfer Kellner Margarete Schäfer Kellner Mit Milch oder mit Zitrone? Und ich nehme ein Glas Wein. Limonade. bitte. Ja. Möchten Sie auch die Anna Müller Mit Zitrone. bitte. Ist hier noch frei? Frau Ja.8 Im Restaurant (1)
Anna Müller and Margarete Schäfer. Cola. Kellner
Anna Müller Ich möchte gerne ein Kännchen Tee.
This is the Sie bitte most polite way of gaining somebody's attention. The word "besetzt" is also used to translate "engaged" both for a phone-line and a toilet cubicle. Both this phrase and "Entschuldigen Sie. waiter
natürlich nehmen Sie Platz
. "Is this seat taken?" Literally: "Is here still free?"
im Restaurant in the restaurant Ist hier noch frei?
entschuldigen "Excuse me please".Speisekarte? Anna Müller Ja. bitte" are requests / instructions. of course. leider hier ist leider besetzt unfortunately "Unfortunately. this means that the subject and the verb are reversed such that the verb is the first element in the sentence.
Inside the Café Lit Glossary
This is written as in English but it is pronounced quite differently. Gerne. naturally "Take a seat". this seat is taken". In the "Sie" form. bitte. with the indefinite article being omitted. This is a wordfor-word translation of the English.
? die Speisekarte
.. We will discuss adjective endings in a later section. You might also hear it
die Limonade der Wein ein Kännchen Tee
die Milch die Zitrone
gleich und ich nehme. glass This means "a glass of wine". the word for "of" is omitted in German after a noun of quantity. Tea is usually drunk in Germanspeaking countries with lemon and from a glass. The German for "beer" is one of the few words for alcoholic beverages which is neuter. immediately and I'll have.. Here too there is no word for "of" in German after the noun of quantity.. It is "das Coke" however! lemonade "wine".der Tee der Kakao die (Coca-)Cola
tea cocoa No need to translate this one. Would you also like. As with the glass of wine... the noun does not need to be repeated. Literally: "The food card". milk This means "lemon". not masculine... If you want milk rather than lemon you will need to ask for "Tee mit Milch".. Most alcoholic drinks turn out to be masculine. das Glas ein Glas Wein
ein großes oder ein kleines?
Möchten Sie auch. As in the earlier section. "a large (beer) or a small (beer)". "A pot of tea".. but note that this is feminine in German.? "The menu".
Was hätten Sie gern? Ich hätte gern Hähnchen mit Kartoffeln und Salat.. Anna Müller and Margarete Schäfer are now ready to order their meal.
Conversation 4: Im Restaurant (2)
Kellner Margarete Schäfer Kellner Margarete Schäfer Kellner
Haben Sie schon gewählt? Ja. bitte.
. Kellner Margarete Schäfer Kellner Ja.
4. Anna Müller Ein Glas Weißwein. Und zu trinken? Und noch ein Bier! Bitte sehr. Und für Sie?
Anna Müller Ich möchte Schweineschnitzel mit Pommes frites. wir möchten bestellen. Click on the sound graphic at the top of this paragraph or here to listen to their conversation to the waiter (der Kellner). bitte.
Anna Müller Danke.9 Im Restaurant (2)
Having now found somewhere to sit and ordered a drink.reduced to "die Karte".. Gerne.
escalope of pork". When spoken by a waiter. pork cutlet. "Chicken". as here. lettuce So far we have seen this word when a customer is saying what he or she would like. we know that it must be neuter." Note that . it means "Of course!" or "You're welcome!" And for you? pig. Remember that the gender of the compound noun will always be determined by
die Kartoffel der Salat gerne
Und für Sie? das Schwein das Schnitzel das Schweineschnitzel
.as in English the infinitive of the verb "bestellen" comes at the end of the clause. chop "Pork cutlet. potato salad. As this noun is another one which ends in "-chen".Inside the Café Lit Glossary
schon Haben Sie schon gewählt? Wir möchten bestellen
already Have you already chosen? "We would like to order. This is another example of those compound nouns which are so common in German.
the last element - here "das Schnitzel". Und zu trinken? And to drink? ein Glas Weißwein "A glass of white wine". "Weißwein" is another compound noun, coming from "weiß", the adjective for "white" and "der Wein" (= wine). noch noch ein Bier still; yet "Another beer". You would say "eine" for a feminine noun. So "another cup of tea" would be "Noch eine Tasse Tee". Yet another nuance of "bitte"! Although the waiter isn't actually bringing them anything, he still says "bitte sehr" to confirm the transaction.
4.10 Settling the bill
Having had their main course, the waiter comes round to see if everything is in order. Anna decides that they don't want a dessert, but would like the bill instead. Click on the sound graphic at the top of this paragraph or here to listen to their conversation to the waiter (der Kellner).
Conversation 5: Settling the bill
So, hat es Ihnen geschmeckt?
Margarete Ausgezeichnet! Schäfer Anna Müller Kellner Sehr gut! Möchten Sie noch etwas bestellen? Darf ich Ihnen einen Nachtisch bringen? Wir haben heute Erdbeeren mit Vanilleeis und Sahne. Für mich nicht.
Margarete Nein, danke, die Rechnung, Schäfer bitte. Kellner Anna Müller Kellner Ja, zusammen oder getrennt? Zusammen, bitte. Ja, kleinen Moment bitte. Das macht siebenundzwanzig Euro sechzig, bitte. Dreißig. Stimmt so. Ja, danke schön.
Anna Müller Kellner
Inside the Café Lit Glossary
This approximates to "well then". It never means the English "so" as in "a logical conclusion".
Hat es Ihnen geschmeckt? ausgezeichnet
"Did you enjoy your meal?". The literal meaning is: "Did it taste to you?" "Excellent!" But then Margarete has had two beers by now... very good "Something else". This always has the sense of an additional something rather than "something different". "dessert". It literally means "after-table". "may I...?" Just like "Ich möchte...", it is always followed by the infinitive of the verb which it governs. "May I bring you a dessert?". And it is "einen Nachtisch", because the masculine noun "der Nachtisch" is the object of the sentence. today "strawberry". As we have seen, many feminine nouns end in "-e", and form a plural in "-en". "vanilla ice-cream". This is another German compound noun, coming from "die Vanille" (= "vanilla") and "das Eis" (= "ice cream"). As "das Eis" is the final element of the compound noun, it determines the gender. cream "Not for me". Note that the German word for "not" "nicht" - follows the noun to which it refers.
sehr gut noch etwas
der Nachtisch darf ich...?
darf ich Ihnen einen Nachtisch bringen?
heute die Erdbeere
die Sahne für mich nicht
die Rechnung, bitte (Could we have) the bill,
Food and drink
Here is a summary of the vocabulary covered in this section.)
English cake cocoa coffee dessert juice ..orange juice ketchup salad sugar tea
German der Kuchen (plural .". siebenundzwanzig Euro sechzig dreißig
4.... Many of these nouns are not used in the plural ..der Orangensaft der Ketschup der Salat der Zucker der Tee
.".and so only the singular form will be given. Unless otherwise indicated...Kuchen) der Kakao der Kaffee der Nachtisch der Saft .. .der Apfelsaft .or separately?" The waiter is thus asking them whether they wish to pay together or separately..apple juice .. you should assume that any verbs given are regular (in the present tense at least).in most cases as in English ..... ". Twenty-seven euros sixty Thirty
kleinen Moment.oder getrennt? together. Literally: "This makes. bitte das macht. "It comes to. Literally: "A little moment please".11 Vocabulary . please".. together with some other words for food and drink which you may find useful. "One moment.please? zusammen.
Vocabulary 5: Food and drink (masc.
wine .die Bratwurst die Erdbeere Kartoffeln Würste Currywürste .Bratwürste Erdbeeren die Sachertorte Sachertorten
.curried sausage .fried sausage strawberry die Rechnung die (Coca-)Cola die Sahne die Tasse die Torte die Zitrone die Limonade
Tassen Torten Zitronen
die Speisekarte Speisekarten die Milch die Kartoffel die Wurst .der Weißwein
Vocabulary 6: Food and drink (fem.red wine .die Currywurst .der Rotwein .)
Singular bill coca-cola cream cup gâteau lemon lemonade menu milk potato sachertorte sausage .white wine
der Wein .
Vocabulary 7: Food and drink (neuter)
Singular beer café chicken glass das Bier bread roll das Brötchen das Café das Hähnchen das Glas
Plural Brötchen Cafés Hähnchen Gläser
ice cream das Eis .das Vanilleeis ice cream piece pig.das Schweineschnitzel Schweineschnitzel das Kännchen Kännchen Restaurants
restaurant das Restaurant
Vocabulary 8: Food and drink (verbs)
.pork cutlet pot das Stück das Schwein Stücke Schweine
.vanilla . pork .
... receive to order
German bringen wählen bekommen bestellen
Vocabulary 9: Food and drink (phrases)
ist hier noch frei? Is this seat taken? hier ist besetzt this seat is taken nehmen Sie Platz! Take a seat! haben Sie schon gewählt? Have you already chosen? was bekommen Sie? What would you like? was möchten Sie? What would you like? möchten Sie sonst noch etwas? Would you like anything else? möchten Sie noch etwas bestellen? Would you like anything else? und zu trinken? And to drink? ich möchte. I would like..
.English to bringen to choose to get.
. Chinese and Mexican food to your home. delivering pizzas. This is particularly the case in large cities where you can find the cuisine of most countries of the world represented.12 Eating out in Germany
Town and country The choice of restaurants in Germany is broad and varied. I would like.. Greek. please kleinen Moment. Turkish and Chinese restaurants . Even smaller towns however will have their fair share of Italian. What have become popular and very common are take-aways on the American pattern. bitte! Just one moment please! zusammen oder getrennt? are you paying together or separately? das macht 20 Euro It comes to 20 euros
4. guten Appetit! Bon appetit! hat es Ihnen geschmeckt? Did you enjoy your meal? ich möchte gleich zahlen I would like to pay now die Rechnung.. bitte The bill.ich hätte gerne.although Indian cuisine has yet to catch on to the extent that it has in Great Britain..
a combination of pub. please"?). It used to be the case that you would address the waiter as Herr Ober and waitresses as Fräulein. Restaurant etiquette When entering a restaurant in a German-speaking country. Take a look at the menu boards which are hung outside all German restaurants to see what they are offering! What you will not find in either town or country is an equivalent for the British "caff" or "greasy spoon". This is common practice on the European mainland. They are rarely interested in making friends. it is customary for the diner to find their own seat rather than waiting to be designated one. just looking for a seat in a crowded restaurant. it is always advisable to ask before you order. Paying and tipping Credit cards are nearly always accepted in large restaurants nowadays but in more humble establishments hard cash is still the usual means of payment. If you want to order or pay you should make a sign with your hand (but do not click your fingers!) and say something along the lines of Kann ich bestellen. And do not be offended if the people in that party do not engage in conversation with you. restaurant and café which invariably offers local delicacies. Cafés in Germanspeaking countries are in general more upmarket.In the country you are more likely to come across "eine Gaststätte".
. "ein Gasthaus" or "eine Gaststube". You should also not be surprised if another party asks if they may sit at your table. with tablecloths. These forms of address are out of date nowadays however and should be avoided. bitte? (= "May I order. If you want to pay by credit card. carpets and upholstered chairs.
If you let them give you your full change (and then leave a tip on the table) they will think that you are unhappy with their service. Leaving the tip on the table after you have paid is unknown in Germany.grilled fish on a stick.e. because a 15% gratuity is included in the prices as a service fee (in addition to a 15% value added tax). Iced tea is becoming increasingly popular as a summertime beverage. but don't be alarmed if you are offered mayonnaise along with tomato sauce to put on them! Such kiosks and snack bars serve beer as well as soft drinks. pancakes et al. rising to 10% in a more upmarket establishment.50 would be rounded up to € 12.i. but most Germans drink it with lemon or just black. not by looking for the tip on the table after you have left. you may come across "Steckerlfisch" . The traditional German kiosk and snack bar is however under attack from a variety of overseas food outlets.a token tip of a few cents will have the same effect. Waiters and waitresses are accustomed to receiving their tip as part of the bill. American fast food (hamburgers. Pommes frites). If a bill is under 10 euros you round the sum up to the next full mark or next but one . € 11. and many will offer a very good ground coffee.) being the most visible
. cafés and other places where your bill is brought to your table. They are most wellknown for offering Bratwurst . This is done by rounding the bill up. Only if you are really dissatisfied with the quality of service that you have received should you not leave any tip at all . Snacks One of the most striking aspects about a German city is the number of kiosks (der Kiosk).or curried sausage (Currywurst). der Schnellimbiss) on each street corner. You can also get chips there (Pommes. The preference for coffee over tea in mainland Europe continues unabated. If the bill comes to more than 10 euros you should allow 5% for a tip.Paying for the meal is almost always done at your table with the waitress or waiter who served you. In Austria. You may be offered tea in a café or restaurant. It is nevertheless usual to leave a tip in restaurants. It is not necessary to tip 15%. sausage stalls (die Würstchenbude) or snack bars (der Imbiss.a fried or grilled sausage .
is in the road called Harbigstrasse which in the Charlottenburg region of Berlin.1 Where is the Hotel Ravenna? (1)
Having arrived in Berlin for his conference. He knows that his hotel . McNaught Passant Ja bitte? Ken Wo finde ich das Hotel Ravenna? McNaught
. Ken McNaught now needs to find his way around in the big city. but he is having trouble finding it.competitor. Listen to his conversation with the passer-by by clicking either here or on the sound icon at the top of the previous paragraph. Whilst in Position 1 on our diagram. But you will also find Turkish kebabs. You can also click here to find the location of Ken McNaught on a map of Berlin.the "Hotel Ravenna" (marked by an "X" in our diagram) .
Conversation 1: Wo ist das Hotel Ravenna?
Ken Entschuldigen Sie bitte. Italian pizzas and French crêpes doing a roaring trade on street corners. he meets a passer-by (ein Passant) and asks for directions.
5. standing on the corner of two roads called Waldschulallee and Messedamm.
? the hotel Excuse me please? Another nuance of "bitte"! This time it approximates to "Yes.. und dann finden Sie das Hotel Ravenna auf der rechten Seite.. dann die nächste rechts . bitte
the passer-by where is.. und die nächste Straße rechts. how may I help?" "Where can I find.
Ken Danke schön! McNaught Passant Bitte schön.
Ken Wie bitte? McNaught Passant Immer geradeaus...die Harbigstraße..? das Hotel entschuldigen Sie bitte Ja..Passant
Ach ja. Viel Spaß in Berlin!
der Passant wo ist.?" The word for "can" is omitted in the
wo finde ich. Da gehen Sie bitte fünfhundert Meter geradeaus...?
.. ich weiß.
fünfhundert Meter geradeaus The names of most German hotels follow the word for "hotel". das Hotel Ravenna ach ja. particularly when you are new to a language! The passer-by does not repeat "Straße" here." There is no word here for "will" .. ich weiß da gehen Sie bitte. oh yes. which equates to "keep straight on" (literally "always straight on")."...
auf der rechten Seite Wie bitte?
die nächste rechts
...the present tense can be used in German to translate the immediate future. street. it is clear that the adjective refers back to the feminine noun "street". road on the right the next road on the right "Then you will find.. Never be embarrassed about asking somebody to repeat directions. The literal meaning is "Much fun!"
die Straße rechts die nächste Straße rechts dann finden Sie. This means "Pardon me?". As we saw in the previous section.. "Enjoy yourself!"." Later in the conversation the passer-by will say "immer geradeaus". In practice this is interchangeable with "rechts". five hundred metres "Straight on.German construction. I know "You go. "on the right-hand side".. Our old friend "bitte" is added for an extra touch of politeness.
Passant Ja? Wie komme ich zum Hotel Ravenna? Hier geradeaus?
Passant Gehen Sie hier geradeaus. Das ist die Jaffeestraße.2 Where is the Hotel Ravenna? (2)
Our passer-by is beginning to curse his luck! No sooner has he given instructions to Ken McNaught and moved along the Messedamm to Position 2 on our diagram than he bumps into Herr Loss.5. Listen to his conversation with the passer-by by clicking either here or on the sound icon at the top of the previous paragraph. Herr Loss Die zweite Straße rechts?
. You can also click here to find the location of the Hotel Ravenna on a map of Berlin.
Conversation 2: Wo ist das Hotel Ravenna?
Herr Loss Herr Loss Herr Loss
Entschuldigen Sie bitte.
Passant Richtig. Nehmen Sie dann die erste Straße rechts. who is also looking for the Hotel Ravenna (which is again marked by an "X" in our diagram).
It is only used for masculine and neuter nouns . zum Hotel "...... Herr Loss Die Harbigstraße?
Passant Ja.. Herr Loss Vielen Dank.. Dann nehmen Sie bitte die erste Straße links. Das ist die Harbigstraße. nicht die zweite sondern die erste Straße rechts! Herr Loss Die erste Straße rechts?
Passant Ja.for feminine nouns you would say "zur".?" Literally: ich... . Und das Hotel Ravenna ist auf der linken Seite. hier straight on here
..? "How do I come to. The Ravenna word "zum" is short for "zu dem". ganz richtig. the word for "do" is omitted in the German construction. Auf Wiedersehen!
Passant Auf Wiedersehen!
Wie komme "How do I get to.Passant Nein. genau.to the Hotel Ravenna".?" As there is only one present tense in German.
The word "ganz" is quite tricky in that it can mean "quite" or very according to context. auf der linken Seite
On the previous two pages...3 Where is the nearest.. ganz richtig right.
die erste Straße links.... In this conversation we find Herr McNaught asking a female passer-by (eine Passantin) where the nearest telephone box and the nearest chemist's are.. sondern. but... we have practised how to get directions to specific places.geradeaus richtig Nehmen Sie. the first road on the right
the second road on the right
"Not . Note again the inverted word order of the polite request. the first road on the left. Listen to his conversation with the passer-by by clicking either here or on the sound icon at the top of the previous paragraph. correct "Take. "Quite right".. The vocabulary and skills are slightly different when we have to find the nearest shop.". die erste Straße rechts die zweite Straße rechts nicht....." In this case.. station etc. "nicht" precedes the noun to which it refers.
Conversation 3: Telefonzelle und Apotheke
Ken Entschuldigen Sie bitte.
. An der Ampel rechts und dann stehen Sie direkt vor der Apotheke. Ken Und wo gibt es hier eine McNaught Apotheke? Passantin Eine Apotheke oder eine Drogerie? Ken Eine Apotheke. nur fünf Minuten zu Fuß. Ken Ist das weit? McNaught Passantin Nein. In der Nähe vom Brandenburger Tor. McNaught Passantin Ja? Ken Wo ist denn hier die nächste McNaught Telefonzelle? Passantin Die nächste Telefonzelle ist gleich hier um die Ecke. McNaught Passantin Sie gehen geradeaus und dann die vierte Straße links.
" The endings of the adjective "nächst-" depend on the gender of the noun.". just here. right here around the corner "Near.Glossary
die Passantin Wo ist denn hier..?"...e. We have included a picture of it in the top left-hand
.. this becomes "vom" for a masculine or neuter noun... The additional words "denn hier" merely add a sense of conversational emphasis..?" is the basic phrase used to translate "Where is. and the case . whether it is in the nominative or the accusative case. and can be omitted. and "von der" for a feminine noun..i. When the preposition "von" is followed by the definite article.
die Telefonzelle die nächste Telefonzelle
gleich hier um die Ecke in der Nähe von
das "The Brandenburg Gate" is Brandenburger probably Berlin's most famous Tor landmark. telephone box "The nearest telephone box.?
passer-by (female) "Wo ist.
The verb "stehen" is regular in the present tense. whereas it is in the nominative case for the "Wo ist. but it is one that merely sells toothpaste." construction.... the thing which you are looking for is in the accusative case. This is another preposition which takes the dative case.corner of each page in this chapter. directly "In front of the chemists shop". "Right at the traffic lights"..? Another variant of "Where is.. "Traffic lights". "Then you stand. Wo gibt es hier.4 Studying the map
. We would also translate this as a "chemist's shop". The definite article "die" becomes "der" after the preposition "an" which takes the dative case.. This is a "chemist's shop" which is staffed by qualified pharmacists who can prescribe medication for straightforward ailments without a doctor's prescription. Is it far? only
die Ampel an der Ampel rechts
dann stehen Sie. This is a singular noun in German.". This of course affects the endings on each noun....?" Note that in this construction. toilet articles and cough sweets.. direkt vor der Apotheke Ist das weit? nur
fünf Minuten zu five minutes by foot Fuß
Ken McNaught is now positioned "Ecke Singerstraße Neue Blumenstraße". and the "U-Bahnhof" (= "underground station") is indicated by the blue letter "U". Und wo gibt es hier einen U-
Conversation 4: Das Postamt und der U-Bahnhof
Ken Entschuldigen Sie bitte. He asks a passer-by where he can find the post-office and the underground station. hier ganz in der Nähe. that is on the corner of Singerstraße and Neue Blumenstraße in what used to be East Berlin.
Ken Und wo ist die Schillingstraße? McNaught Passant Sie gehen geradeaus und dann links. Nehmen Sie die erste Straße rechts und dann finden Sie das Postamt auf der linken Seite. Listen to his conversation with the passer-by by clicking either here or on the sound icon at the top of the first paragraph. McNaught Passant Ja bitte? Ken Gibt es hier in der Nähe ein McNaught Postamt? Passant Ja.the post-office has the yellow logo of the German post office Deutsche Post with its trademark horn. In der Schillingstraße etwa zwei Minuten von hier. Both of these are shown on the map below .
You will often hear the word "die Post" used for this.
hier in der Nähe
hier ganz in der very near here Nähe das Postamt "Post office". the masculine noun "ein U-Bahnhof" becomes "einen U-Bahnhof".McNaught Bahnhof? Passant Da gehen Sie bitte circa sechshundert Meter geradeaus. und dann stehen Sie direkt davor. which also means the post office as an institution. approximately two minutes from here "Where is an underground station round here?" As "es gibt" takes the accusative case.
Ken Welcher U-Bahnhof ist das? McNaught Passant U-Bahnhof Schillingstraße. an der Polizeiwache vorbei. about six hundred metres
etwa zwei Minuten von hier Wo gibt es hier einen UBahnhof?
circa sechshundert Meter
. approximately. die nächste rechts und dann gehen Sie ganz einfach die Schillingstraße entlang.
ganz einfach die Schillingstraße entlang die Polizeiwache
quite simply "Along the Schillingstraße". The preposition "entlang" follows the noun to which it refers. "Police station". It is indicated on German maps by a green star on a white circular background. past the police station
an der Polizeiwache vorbei direkt davor Welcher UBahnhof ist das?
directly in front of it "Which underground station is that?" If the noun following "which" was a feminine noun, it would be "welche" and if it was a neuter noun, it would be "welches".
Prepositions which take the accusative case Prepositions are words such as "in", "on" and "over" which stand in front of a noun or pronoun to relate it to the rest of the sentence. In German, when these prepositions are used, the words for "the" (der/die/das) and "a" (ein) alter their endings depending on the case in which they are used. We are already familiar with the accusative case, and have explained how "der" changes into "den" in the accusative case, and "ein" changes into "einen". This same change from "der" to "den" also happens after certain prepositions - we say that these prepositions "take" the accusative case. Some of the more commonly used German prepositions are listed below:
Grammar 1: Accusative prepositions
Example durch das Hotel
through the hotel entlang für um die Straße entlang along the street für den Mann for the man um die Ecke round the corner
The dative case Many prepositions however take a case which is new to us - the dative case. For the definite article, the dative case means that both the masculine "der" and the neuter "das" change into "dem", and the feminine "die" changes into "der". As regards to the indefinite article, the dative case means that both the masculine and the neuter "ein" change into "einem", whereas the feminine "eine" changes into "einer". Some of the most commonly used German prepositions that take the dative case are:
Grammar 2: Dative prepositions
Prep. Example an in von an der Ampel (at the traffic lights) in einem Restaurant (in a restaurant) 5 Minuten von der Apotheke (five minutes from the chemist's) vor dem Hotel (in front of the hotel) Wie komme ich zum Hotel? (How do I get to the hotel?)
There is an additional difficulty however, in that some prepositions can either take the accusative or the dative case, depending on context. The prepositions "an", "in" and "vor" take the dative case when they are describing a fixed position, but
the accusative case when they are describing movement - "Er geht in das Hotel". We will look at this in more detail in a subsequent chapter. The prepositions "von" and "zu" on the other hand, always take the dative case.
5.6 The dative case and the articles
Definite article The endings for the definite article "der" in the dative case are as follows - singular endings only.
Grammar 3: Definite article in the dative case
Masculine Feminine Neuter Nominative der Mann die Frau Accusative den Mann die Frau Dative dem Mann der Frau das Kind das Kind dem Kind
Merging of prepositions with the definite article You will already have noted that certain prepositions tend to merge with the definite article - but never with the indefinite article. The following contracted forms are almost always preferred to the non-contracted forms:
Grammar 4: Dative prepositions
an + dem = am Ich bin am U-Bahnhof (I am at the underground station) in + dem = im von + dem = vom zu + dem = zum Wir sind im Café (We are in the café) Zehn Minuten vom Bahnhof (Ten minutes from the station) Wie komme ich zum Hotel? (How do I get to the hotel?)
meine Frau meine Frau meiner Frau
Grammar 5: Indefinite article in the dative case
Masculine Feminine Neuter Nom. meinen Mann Dat. Nom. meinem Mann
Fem. We have given "mein" as an example. einen Mann Dat. ein Mann Acc. but the others decline in the same way. einem Mann eine Frau ein Kind eine Frau ein Kind einer Frau einem Kind
Possessive adjectives The endings for the possessive adjectives are as follows.
Fem. Note that "kein" also declines in the same way.
Neut. mein Kind mein Kind meinem Kind
The only exception to this rule is the possessive adjective "euer" (= your).zu + der = zur Sie geht zur Bank (She goes to the bank) The indefinite article The endings for the indefinite article "ein" in the three cases which we have met so far are printed below.
Grammar 6: Possessive adjectives in the dative case
Masc. This possessive loses the "-e-" of its stem when it adds endings. mein Mann Acc.
Grammar 7: The possessive "euer" in the dative case
Masc. euer Mann eure Frau
. euer Kind
. When an adjective is given as a one word response to a question."Ausgezeichnet!" (= Excellent!) and "Sehr gut!" (= Very good!). dem guten Mann die gute Frau das gute Kind der guten Frau dem guten Kind
The indefinite article "ein" . The endings for an adjective which follows the definite article "der" are as follows:
Grammar 8: Adjective endings after the definite article
Nom. what its gender is. eurem Mann
eure Frau eurer Frau
eurer Kind eurem Kind
5. or in the question "Wie alt bist du?. Adjectives before a noun Adjectives standing in front of a noun add endings to show whether that noun is singular or plural. there are also no endings. euren Mann Dat. For example.7 Adjectives
When adjectives follow a noun When an adjective .Acc. and what case it stands in.or "describing word" . depending on the gender of the noun which follows it and the case that this noun is in. den guten Mann Dat. when the waiter asks the diners in Chapter 4 whether they had enjoyed their meal . adjectives in this position do not have endings in German.follows the verb "to be" as in the phrase "Ist es weit?" (= Is it far?) in one of the conversations in this chapter. The endings the adjective adds depend on what sort of article is standing before it.has the following endings.along with "kein" ."Hat es Ihnen geschmeckt?" (= Did you enjoy your meal?). Anna and Margarete reply with adjectives without endings . der gute Mann die gute Frau das gute Kind Acc.
feminine or accusative? What case is the noun in in this sentence . ein guter Mann eine gute Frau Acc.masculine. accusative or dative? What type of article precedes the adjective .Grammar 9: Adjective endings after the indefinite article
Neuter ein gutes Kind ein gutes Kind einem guten Kind
Nom. ihrem guten Mann ihre gute Frau ihrer guten Frau
Examples To work out the endings on an adjective you need to know three things:
• • •
What is the gender of the noun .e.definite "ein" or indefinite "ein"? Or is it preceded by a possessive adjective "mein etc.i. ihr guter Mann ihre gute Frau Acc. einem guten Mann eine gute Frau einer guten Frau
Adjectives after possessive adjectives take exactly the same endings as those which follow the indefinite article:
Grammar 10: Adjectives after possessive adjectives
Neuter ihr gutes Kind ihr gutes Kind ihrem guten Kind
Nom.nominative. ihren guten Mann Dat. it is the subject of the clause It is preceded by the definite article "die"
. we know that the ending on the adjective is "-e" because:
• • •
"die Apotheke" is a feminine noun It is in the nominative case in the above sentence ."?
Thus for the sentence "Wo ist die nächste Apotheke?". einen guten Mann Dat.
These are formed in German for the numbers one to nineteen by taking the number itself and adding "-t-" to the end. Here are the ordinal numbers from one to nineteen.e. article)
der erste der zweite der dritte der vierte der fünfte der sechste
der elfte der zwölfte der dreizehnte der vierzehnte der fünfzehnte der sechzehnte
Grammar 11: Ordinal numbers 1-19 (def. it is the object of the clause It is preceded by the definite article "den"
Test yourself on adjective endings Test your ability to add the correct endings to adjectives by taking
5. "third" etc as ordinal numbers. The important thing to remember is that such numbers are adjectives. we know that the adjective ending is "-en" because:
• • •
"der U-Bahnhof" is a masculine noun It is in the accusative case in the sentence .8 Ordinal numbers
Ordinal numbers from one to nineteen We refer to the English words "first". "dritt-" (= "third").And in the sentence "Wo gibt es hier den nächsten U-Bahnhof?". and must therefore take adjective endings when they precede a noun. Four ordinals are irregular: "erst-" (= "first"). They do so according to the rules which we established in the previous section. "siebt-" (= "seventh") and "acht-" (= "eighth").i. "second". with the adjective endings for a masculine noun after a definite article.
imagine again that we are dealing with a masculine noun:
Grammar 12: Ordinal numbers 1-19 (indef. article)
ein erster ein zweiter ein dritter ein vierter ein fünfter ein sechster ein siebter ein achter ein neunter ein zehnter
ein elfter ein zwölfter ein dreizehnter ein vierzehnter ein fünfzehnter ein sechzehnter ein siebzehnter ein achtzehnter ein neunzehnter
Test yourself on ordinal numbers Test your knowledge of the larger ordinal numbers by taking this jumbled words exercise.der siebte der achte der neunte der zehnte
der siebzehnte der achtzehnte der neunzehnte
When the ordinal number follows an indefinite article. the adjective endings must therefore change. For the purposes of the table below. Click on the bar below to get started. Ordinal numbers from twenty upwards Ordinal numbers from twenty upwards are formed by adding "-
which it remained until 1945.9 Berlin: Facts and figures
A brief history Berlin was founded in the 13th Century and was originally a seat of the Hohenzollerns royal family. forming an enclave within the German Democratic Republic) and
. From the end of World War II until the reunification of Germany in 1990 the city was divided into two parts: West Berlin (a state of the Federal Republic of Germany. article)
20 der zwanzigste 22 der zweiundzwanzigste 23 der dreiundzwanzigste 24 der vierundzwanzigste 25 der fünfundzwanzigste 26 der sechsundzwanzigste 27 der siebenundzwanzigste 28 der achtundzwanzigste 29 der neunundzwanzigste 30 der dreißigste
31 der einunddreißigste 32 der zweiunddreißigste 40 der vierzigste 45 der fünfundvierzigste 50 der fünfzigste 54 der vierundfünfzigste 60 der sechzigste 70 der siebzigste 80 der achtzigste 90 der neunzigste
Test yourself on ordinal numbers greater than 19 Test your knowledge of the larger ordinal numbers by taking this multiple choice exercise.
5. Adjective endings are then added in the usual way:
Grammar 13: Ordinal numbers greater than 19 (def.st-" to the number itself. It was initially the capital of Brandenburg and then became capital of Prussia. Berlin was also the capital of Germany between 1871 and 1945. Click on the bar below to get started.
and later became capital of the German Democratic Republic).45 million inhabitants. 1990 and the second half of the 1990's witnessed key government bodies relocating from Bonn to Berlin.as large as
. It once more became the capital of Germany after the reunification of October 3. with more than 430. It is both a city and a federal state. research and cultural institutions represent one of the invaluable strengths of the city. fulfils both federal state functions and municipal functions. and many people were killed or wounded while attempting to cross. It has been transformed from the symbol of European division to the place where East and West Europe meet. West Berlin was successfully supplied by a large-scale Allied 'airlift' in 1949. Vienna and Budapest. Berlin has an area of around 891 square kilometres . Lower rents for residential accommodation in the eastern boroughs and the greater supply of jobs in the western boroughs led to a new mixture of the population soon after unification. Size and population Berlin currently has a population of 3. Berlin’s scientific. It is a multicultural city.000 people from 184 different nations living there. The Berlin wall was opened in November 1989 after the collapse of the Communist regime in East Germany. Berlin is situated on the east-west axis from Paris to Warsaw/Moscow and on the north-south line from Stockholm to Prague. Despite being blockaded by the Communists. The new Berlin The new Berlin is defining itself as a bridge between East and West.East Berlin (the zone of the city that was Soviet-occupied at the end of the war. A fortified wall separating the two sectors was erected in 1961 by the Communist authorities to curb the flow of refugees to the West. Companies with world-wide operations make use of the many institutions located in Berlin and the expertise that is concentrated here. and subsequently dismantled. The growing economy in Central and Eastern Europe finds a bridge to the western economy in Berlin.
Renzo Piano. the buildings of the Kulturforum on the southern edge of the Tiergarten and the modern office and shopping complex on Potsdamer Platz link the western city around the Kurfürstendamm with the eastern city in the historical centre of Berlin between the Brandenburg Gate and Alexanderplatz. Architecture In addition to the architecture of the 19th and 20th century. shops and apartments in the restored Potsdamer Platz.de Berlin-Info. which has been redesigned by Norman Foster and now has a glass dome which is open to visitors. The outstanding example is the Reichstag. the new cityscape is dominated by buildings designed by top international architects. In the inner part of the city.de
Background 2: Berlin newspapers
Berliner Kurier Berliner Morgenpost Berliner Zeitung Berlin News
BZ Berlin Der Tagesspiegel taz. To the north of the Tiergarten. 1. die Tageszeitung Die Welt . Architects such as Helmut Jahn. Frank O’Gehry has designed a new building on Pariser Platz for the DG Bank and Aldo Rossi's residential complex in the Schützenstraße has also attracted positive comment. Hans Kollhoff and Richard Rogers have designed offices. Find out more about Berlin!
Background 1: Berlin information portals
Berlin Online Berlin 1 2. the government and parliament buildings are being built in the meander of the River Spree.Berlin
.Munich. centres and boroughs which are completely different in character. Stuttgart and Frankfurt am Main put together – and unites a large number of urban districts. Berlin Newspapers
Berlin Radio Stations
Background 4: Berlin radio stations
Berliner Rundfunk Inforadio Radio Berlin 88.6 RTL Berlin
General Internet sites about Berlin
Berlin . Berlin Wall See the remains of the Berlin Wall in these panoramic pictures taken by Helmut Koelbach.3. Find out more about the building and the fall of the Berlin Wall.8
RBB Kulturradio Radio Eins 104.
. In English. Berlin Listings Magazines
Background 3: Berlin listings magazines
Zitty 030 4.
Potsdamer Platz Live pictures from a WebCam WebCam positioned at the newly redeveloped Potsdamer Platz in Berlin.Past and An overview of the history Present of the city of Berlin. Berlin Airlift An overview of the Berlin Airlift.